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Press Release - November 9, 2005

Contact: Joseph Kung
PO Box 8086, Stamford, CT 06905, U.S.A
Tel: 203-329-9712 Fax: 203-329-8415 E-Mail: jmkung@aol.com


Underground Roman Catholic Bishop Jia Zhi Guo arrested again in China


Two other underground priests of the same diocese also arrested



Stamford, Connecticut, U.S.A. --- Bishop Jia Zhi Guo 賈志國主教, the underground Roman Catholic Bishop of the Diocese of Zheng Ding 正定 in Hebei Province 河北省, was arrested again by Chinese government security officials at his house at approximately 8:00 am Beijing time yesterday November 8, 2005. The officials, having ordered the bishop to bring his clothing, drove the Bishop to Jinzhou City 晉州市 where several other security officials were waiting in order to drive the Bishop to Shijiazhuang City 石家莊市. The security personnel told the public that the Bishop was taken away for a "study session." We have no idea how long Bishop Jia will be taken away.

One day before the Bishop's arrest, Father LI Suchuan 李素川神父, 40 years of age, and Father YANG Ermeng 楊二孟神父, 35 years of age, both of whom belong to Bishop Jia's Zheng Ding Diocese, were taken away by the security personnel separately on November 7 from their parishes in Zhoujiazhuang Village 周家莊 and Zhoutou Village 周頭村, both of Dingzhou City 定州市, respectively. We understand that they were taken to the Security Bureau of Jinzhou City晉州市. They still have not returned home at the time of this writing.

Bishop Jia is 70 years old and was ordained a bishop in 1980. He was previously in jail for approximately 20 years and has been under strict surveillance for many years. He takes care of approximately 100 handicapped orphans in his house. This is the eighth time we are aware of that Bishop Jia was arrested since January 2004.

Joseph Kung 龔民權, the President of the Cardinal Kung Foundation龔樞機基金會, said: "It is so fitting that today the United States government once again designated China as a "Country of Particular Concern" for denying its citizens religious freedom and human rights for the 7th consecutive year. For those who advocate that free-trade with China will change China's human rights abuses, it will be difficult for them to produce evidence of progress in this area. Recently, there have been many reports of bishops in the U.S. and Europe making friendly visits to the official Patriotic Bishops and the Chinese government. In addition, it was also reported that a Sister of Charity has agreed to open convents in China at the invitation of the Chinese government. It is most disappointing that this good will and generosity have not improved the government treatment of the Roman Catholic bishops and clergy. It is sad to see that the Chinese government is quite confident that its continuous assault on the underground Roman Catholic Church will have no reprisal on their being accepted and pursued by the universal Roman Catholic Church. In order to hopefully improve the Chinese government's human rights practice, this arrest should serve once again as a wake-up call to the fact that some more effective antidote should be employed. I call once again for the Olympic Committee to consider canceling the Games in China, not only to preserve its good name and spirit, but also to act as a bargaining chip to improve China's human rights and religious freedom practice. As most of the official Patriotic Bishops have reportedly by media professed their loyalty to the Holy See and claimed that they have been approved by the Holy Father, I call to them to act as religious leaders in China and have the courage and charity to speak out against this injustice and continuous assaults to the underground Roman Catholic Church bishops and clergy."