Stamford, Connecticut, U.S.A. --- Bishop Peter Chang (Zhang) Bai Ren 張伯仁主教, the underground Roman Catholic bishop of Hanyang 漢陽in Hubei Province 湖北省, died from heart ailments at 6:05 P.M. Beijing time on October 12, 2005. He was 90 years and 8 months old.
Bishop Chang was born on February 14, 1915, entered minor seminary in 1926, major seminary in 1936, studied at Pontificio Collegio Urbano in Rome 1937-1945, and was awarded a Ph.D. in Theology by Collegio Urbano. He was ordained a priest on December 19, 1942. He recalled in his writings in 1997: "When I took charge of the diocese of Hanyang on January 16, 1953, . . .I solemnly offered my diocese to the Immaculate Heart (of Mary) and asked her to grant us two favors: 1) that our diocese be exempted from the pestilence of religious reformation against the Pope in Rome, and 2) that I, the weakest of all men, be not a Judas. . . Forty-five years of severe persecution has passed since we offered our diocese to the Immaculate Heart. The facts proved that the Immaculate Heart has kindly granted us the two favors we had asked." Bishop Chang was consecrated a bishop in 1986. He was put in prison for 24 years 1955 – 1979 by the Chinese authority for his allegiance to the Pope. He wrote again in 1997: "On September 13, 1955 when policemen, with their guns pointing at me, blustered and threatened me to get me to renounce the Pope in Rome , I told them bluntly 'shoot me dead, but I will not renounce the Pope.' I was not shot, but spent 24 hard years in prison and slave labor camp."