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Chinese authorities prevent priest from celebrating Chrism Mass

Bishop Vincent Guo Xijin of Mindong was forced to pay a visit to the religious affairs bureau and has not returned

Bishop Vincent Guo Xijin of Mindong in China’s eastern Fujian province has not returned after being forced to pay a visit to the religious affairs bureau in Fuan on Friday, local sources told ucanews.com.

Local Catholics said the move was to prevent the new bishop from presiding over his first Chrism Mass, a symbol of unity for the clergy.

“The security bureau informed the diocese that the provincial religious affairs bureau asked him to attend a learning class for 20 days,” said a priest who asked not to be named, adding that has not heard of any other unregistered bishop in the province needing to do the course.

China requires Catholic leaders to register with the government-controlled Catholic Patriotic Association, and Chinese authorities have frequently arrested Catholics who reject government control.

“Without the bishop, the Chrism Mass is bound to fall through,” the priest told ucanews.com, referring to the service that was planned for Holy Thursday.

Read more at CatholicHerald.co.uk…

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