Fujian, China, Nov 21, 2019 / 09:30 am
A Catholic bishop in China is reportedly on the run from state authorities after refusing to register with the state-sponsored Church. Bishop Vincenzo Guo Xijin is believed to be in hiding in the diocese of Mindong after leaving the residence of the local state-sponsored bishop.
Bishop Guo is considered a leader in the Chinese underground Catholic Church, which refuses to submit to the state-sponsored Church which is in turn under the authority of the Chinese Communist Party. Priests in China are required to register with the government in order to be able to minister openly. In the process of doing so, they are expected to acknowledge the government's policy of "sinicization."
According to Asia News, on November 9, Guo was placed under the supervision of two state security officials and visited daily in an attempt to force him to sign an act of registration with the state.
On November 12, officials attempted to compel Guo to attend a meeting of "independent" clergy of the diocese with a view to bringing them in line with the state-sanctioned Church. Asia News reports that the majority of the diocese's priests have refused to sign the act of registration with the Communist-backed Church. When Guo refused, he was taken to the Mindong diocesan chancery in Ningde to meet with Bishop Vincent Zhan Silu, who was expected to "convince" him to sign the formal submission to the state-Church.