In China’s Catholic heartland, Vatican deal brings Communist Party closer

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Source: Reuters

DONGLU VILLAGE, China (Reuters) – In 1996, a tiny village with a huge Gothic-style church in China’s Catholic heartland of northern Hebei province was the scene of a tense stand-off between the ruling Communist Party and the faithful.

Authorities surrounded Donglu village’s Our Lady of China Catholic Church, blocking thousands of pilgrims and detaining Vatican-ordained Bishop Su Zhimin, who was a member of the “underground” Church, not the state-backed official Church which did not recognize the pope’s authority to name bishops.

Despite repeated appeals to Chinese authorities from Vatican officials and underground clergy, it is unclear whether Su, who would now be 86, is still being held or is even alive.

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