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21 September 2017

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09/19/2011 CHINA

Shanxi: allegedly corrupt priest defended by Religious Affairs Bureau

The rector of Montecorvino Seminary was removed for allegedly embezzling funds earmarked for the institution. However the Religious Affairs Bureau is trying to reinstate him and so stopped the start of the new school year.

Taiyuan (AsiaNews) – The Religious Affairs Bureau (RAB) in Shanxi Province has come to the rescue of a former rector of the regional seminary in Shanxi. Whilst bishops removed him from office, the RAB wants him reinstated. Because of the tug-of-war, the seminary has had to delay reopening its doors, originally set for early September.

Fr Anthony Chang Tongxi, 45, was appointed rector of the Shanxi Regional Major Seminary in 2009, which is named after Beijing’s first Catholic archbishop, Franciscan Giovanni da Montecorvino.

Last June, the seminary’s chairman, Mgr John Huo Cheng of Fenyang, told Fr Chang that he was dismissed with immediate effect.

When he came under suspicion of pocketing money earmarked for the seminary, the seminary’s board of directors asked him to submit the seminary’s financial books before the end of June. However, instead of presenting the seminary’s books, Fr Chang turned to the RAB for help and last August, Ministry representatives demanded the reinstatement of the rector, threatening to shut it down for an undetermined period of time if their wish was not met.

A priest from the Montecorvino Seminary told AsiaNews that students were already unhappy with Fr Chang and his way of organising the life of the community, but were always afraid of speaking up openly.

Another priest said he was concerned that the seminary might remain closed for too long, compromising the education of seminarians.

An alumnus of the seminary told AsiaNews that the previous rector, Wu Junwei, who became the bishop of Yungcheng (pictured), could run the seminary better despite current difficulties.

Other seminarians are bitter that the government is getting involved in internal Church matters.





See also

12/09/2017 13:36:00 CHINA
Wang Zuoan: foreign religions are “infiltrating” and threatening China

The head of the Religious Affairs Bureau defends new regulations on religious activities. Religious discussions on the internet and "illegal" religious meetings represent a “danger”.



23/12/2014 CHINA
As more than 400 crosses are destroyed in Zhejiang, violence spreads to Henan, Shandong, and Anhui
In the latest incident of its kind, the cross of a Protestant Church in Dingqiao was torn down on 19 December. Some members of the local congregation were injured trying to stop the destruction. On 18 December, the cross of a church of Nanle (Henan) was also destroyed and 4 million yuan saved by parishioners to build more churches were seized. The "Three Rectifications and One Demolition" campaign targets mainly sacred buildings.

20/04/2007 CHINA
Patriotic Church bishop critically ill
The controversial prelate has been ill for several years. Many faithful have often avoided him because of his anti-Vatican views. In public life he has taken on many functions but China’s Catholic Patriotic Association has been preparing his succession for some time.

01/09/2006 CHINA – VATICAN
Church endures economic persecution as the Patriotic Association tries to seize Church property
Church property, which the government has said it will return, is estimated to be worth 13 billion euros. But the Religious Affairs Bureau, the Patriotic Association and local governments freely dispose of it and its revenues.

22/11/2007 CHINA – VATICAN
Chinese priest sentenced to three years for inaugurating a state-sanctioned church
False testimonies and party-influenced judges are a slap in the face of Hu Jintao’s “harmonious society.” Underground Catholics are learning the meaning of “normalisation" so that they can toe the line of the Chinese Catholic Patriotic Association whose raison d’être, according to the Pope, is “incompatible with Catholic doctrine.”


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