National Catholic Reporter

The Independent News Source

China

Chinese Bishop Shi, held in secret for years, dies at 94

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Bishop Cosmas Shi Enxiang of Yixian, 94, a member of the so-called underground Catholic church who has not been seen since his arrest in 2001, has died, a relative said.

Born in Hebei province, Shi was arrested April 13, 2001, Good Friday, at his niece's home in Beijing. He was held without charge in a secret location.

"We were informed by Baoding city government officials on Friday morning, but they did not say when he died exactly or the cause of his death," Shi Chunyan, the bishop's great-niece, told the Asian Catholic news portal ucanews.com on Saturday.

China to Pope Francis: Don't 'interfere' with religion

China has reacted cautiously to a bid by Pope Francis to open new dialogue with Beijing, with some officials quick to warn the Vatican not to "interfere" with the country's religion.

On his return flight from a five-day tour of South Korea, Francis said he was ready to go to China -- "For sure! Tomorrow!" -- after receiving a positive response to two goodwill telegrams he sent to President Xi Jinping as the pope flew over Chinese airspace.

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