Bishop Julius Jia Zhiguo of Zhengding, who was arrested in August for removing a Catholic Patriotic Association sign from his cathedral, was released on Friday after four months of detention.
The family of the 72 year-old bishop had made numerous requests for his release because his uncle was seriously ill. The bishop had asked the local government many times to release him in time to celebrate Christmas at his cathedral, according to UCA News.
A government official reportedly said Bishop Jia would be detained again after a few days to undergo a “learning session.” It was not specified if this detention would take place before or after Christmas.
On August 23 Bishop Jia reportedly removed a sign displaying “Catholic Patriotic Association” from the outside of his cathedral, where government officials had placed it.
Public security officers had earlier detained Bishop Jia for seventeen days in June of 2007.