Zhu's funeral was presided over by Bishop Peter Jin Lugang of Nanyang, the first underground bishop to be publicly accepted by the Chinese government following the September 2018 China-Holy See agreement on the appointment of bishops.
The Vatican communique also announced the deaths of underground bishops emeriti Joseph Ma Zhongmu and Andrew Jin Danyuan.
Andrew Jin Danyuan, underground bishop emeritus of Changzhi, died in November at the age of 90. After his ordination to the priesthood in Beijing in 1956, Jin was arrested and imprisoned for 13 years.
Bishop Joseph Ma Zhongmu, who remained a part of China's underground Church until his death at the age of 101 on March 23, was the first and only bishop of Mongolian ethnicity.
Born in a village in Inner Mongolia in 1919, Zhongmu studied in a Chinese minor seminary from 1935 to 1947, when he was ordained a priest during the Chinese Civil War.
Fr. Ma was sentenced to 10 years of forced labor in 1958 after refusing to join the then recently established Chinese Catholic Patriotic Association. Upon his release, Ma was forced to work as a village laborer in a water management plant during Mao's Cultural Revolution. He was unable to resume his priestly ministry until 1979 as China began to open under Deng Xiaoping.
Pope John Paul II appointed Ma to be bishop of Yinchuan in 1983, entrusting to him the pastoral care of Mongolian Catholics.
As bishop, Ma translated the catechism and other Church documents into Mongolian, and in his retirement dedicated himself to translating the New Testament and Roman Missal as well.
The Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples sent Bishop Ma a pectoral cross in 2004 as a sign of recognition and communion.
Ma's funeral was offered on March 27 by Bishop Paul Meng Qinglu of Hohhot and two other priests. No others allowed in attendance due to the coronavirus restrictions.
Courtney Mares is a Rome Correspondent for Catholic News Agency. A graduate of Harvard University, she has reported from news bureaus on three continents and was awarded the Gardner Fellowship for her work with North Korean refugees.