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ICC Note: The St Ignatius Cathedral of Shanghai Diocese reopened on December 16 after closing for more than two years for renovation. However, Auxiliary Bishop Thaddeus Ma Daqin was not present to be the main celebrant. He has been under house arrest in Sheshan Seminary soon after he declared quitting the Chinese Catholic Patriotic Association(CPA) during his episcopal ordination on 7 July 2012. Restriction on his movement was loosened in recent years. Despite his several attempts to make peace with the government, he is still banned from carrying out his episcopal ministry to lead the diocese. Chinese government aims to put all Vatican-approved underground bishops under its control by pushing them to join the CPA.

12/19/2017 China (Herald Malaysia) – The St Ignatius Cathedral of Shanghai Diocese in downtown Xujiahui district was reopened on December 16 after closing for more than two years for renovation.

The century-old cathedral has suffered from serious leaking and flaking of the ceiling that might endanger safety of the parishioners. The renovation project has to keep the original of the cathedral, which was named a national monument by the State Council in 2013.

The dedication Mass began at 9:00 am was celebrated by Father Wu Jianlin, dean of the downtown deanery. He was joined by about 50 local and visiting priests.

The church was packed with more than 2,000 Catholics with some arrived three hours ahead. After the Mass, each attendee received a gift pack that included a statue of St Ignatius made of purple clay, a rosary bead and a carrying bag with a portrait of the cathedral.

About a month ago before the reopening, some Catholics started to guess if Auxiliary Bishop Thaddeus Ma Daqin would be the main celebrant in the liturgy as this would be a sign whether he could finally carry out his episcopal ministry to lead the diocese.

Bishop Ma has been under house arrest in Sheshan Seminary soon after he declared quitting the Chinese Catholic Patriotic Association(CPA) during his episcopal ordination on 7 July 2012. Restriction on his movement was loosened in recent years.

However, in June 2016, Bishop Ma has shocked Catholics across China when he published an article repenting his decision to quit the CPA. Three months later, he was re-admitted to the CPA and now holding two posts.

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