.- A young Chinese bishop, whose episcopal ordination was approved by the Vatican but not recognized by the government, was taken away by plainclothes officers who broke into the cathedral compound.
According to UCA News, Bishop Joseph Wu Qinjing of Zhouzhi was taken away Sept. 11 at 10:15 p.m. from Immaculate Heart of Mary Cathedral. His whereabouts remain unknown.
About 20 officers entered the compound and made their way to the room of the 38-year-old bishop. They knocked on his door without disclosing their identity.
When Bishop Wu opened the door, he was taken immediately to one of the vehicles parked outside the compound. Onlookers and others living on the cathedral compound saw two of the officers grab the bishop's shoulders while a third officer slapped him.
Fr. Song Guangyu of Zhouzhi told UCA News Sept. 14 that some local priests went to the provincial religious affairs office in Xi'an, the Shaanxi capital, to protest against the abuse of religious freedom and human rights.
They asked to see the bishop and give him some daily supplies, but were refused. They threatened to organize a demonstration in the city if officials did not give reasons for the assault and guarantee the prelate's safety.
Officials have already taken Bishop Wu away a few times since May, for questioning and to attend learning classes on the "Religious Affairs Regulations" that took effect last year.