CNA Staff, Dec 31, 2020 / 15:25 pm America/Denver (CNA).
According to the Catholic outlet AsiaNews, headquartered in Rome, Bishop Andrea Han Jingtao, 99, a leader in the underground Catholic Church in China, died Dec. 30. Han Jingtao was the underground Bishop of Siping.
In his early years growing up in a Catholic family, Han received a high-quality formation and education from the Canadian missionaries of Quebec, who ran the apostolic vicariate in his region of China before the communist revolution.
After Mao Zedong took power, the late bishop was sent to a concentration camp where he would be imprisoned for 27 years (1953-1980) "for refusing to participate in the 'independent and autonomous' Church, as Mao Zedong wanted," AsiaNews reports.
Once freed, his command of the English language made him an asset for the communist regime, which conscripted him into service as an English teacher at Changchun University and then at the Northeast University for masters and doctoral programs. According to AsiaNews, "He introduced many Chinese to the study of Classical, Latin, and Greek languages and cultures."
After his academic retirement in 1987, he dedicated his pastoral efforts to the local Legion of Mary and the religious congregation he founded, The Sisters of Mount Calvary.