The state has also meddled in the internal affairs of Catholic schools in Hong Kong, he said, which could prove especially detrimental in the future.
"As church we have full freedom," he added, "but we have suffered a heavy drawback, which is they have taken away our right of running education. They have changed the law."
While all schools are state-subsidized, the church under the old plan would "present the management committee" for the schools to the government, usually composed of teachers, parents, and alumni. This committee would be "approved" on formality. A new law has changed that, he said.
"We have no mechanism to intervene. Because until now, until the new law, we run the schools inside the system," he said.
Now the Church would recommend only 60 percent of the management committee and wouldn't even "have full control" over that percentage.
"So there is no guarantee anymore the school would go on according to our vision and mission," he said.
The "underground" Catholic church in China "enjoys a certain amount of freedom" as opposed to the state-run Chinese Catholic Patriotic Association, he said, as the government "tolerates" its underground existence as whole villages may be Catholic and priests say mass in homes.
"The majority of the priests and bishops in the official church, they may, in their heart, still very much united with the universal church, but they are under tight control," he said.
And the situation "is not changing at all, because the system is already very well established at the national level," he added. The current General Secretary of the Communist Party of China Xi Jingping is about "tightening control," he said, and "there is really no foundation for any optimism."