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Press Release - January 11, 2011

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


A Twenty Year-Old Underground Catholic Handicapped Orphanage in Hebei, China,

Is Under Imminent Threat To Be Forcibly Taken Over By the Chinese Government



Video - Mother of Millions




Stamford, Connecticut, U.S.A. --- What is described in Underground Catholic Handicapped Orphanage in Hebeithe captioned title has not yet happened. But, the writing is on the wall. It may come at any time, as told by the Chinese officials to Bishop Jia Zhiguo, the founder and administrator of the disabled orphanage. The government has made clear to the bishop that it would not rule out the use of force if the government failed to get the bishop's agreement to let the government take over his orphanage. Bishop Jia has so far refused to sign such agreement.

We beg the world media and leaders to have the moral courage to stand up for these approximately one hundred helpless disabled orphans, voice their concern and appeal to the Chinese higher authorities not to carry out such a threat.

Approximately twenty years ago, a handicapped infant was left at the doorstep of Bishop Jia Zhiguo's residence. Obviously, the baby was abandoned by his parents. The good bishop took the abandoned baby into his home. He is now some twenty years old.

Soon after the first baby was rescued by the bishop, the word spread. Over the years, more disabled babies were left at Bishop Jia's doorstep. In the course of the last twenty years, hundreds of babies, disabled and some very sick, were found abandoned. The good bishop took every one in. Some babies unfortunately did not survive, but at least they were all baptized before they went home to God's house. The Bishop founded a community of thirty Catholic nuns, specially devoted to the care of these disabled orphans. The orphanage has now grown to over one hundred, ranging from a few months to 20 year old. It is located in WuQiu, Jinzhou, Hebei.

Bishop Jia has never joined the Catholic Patriotic Association. He is an underground bishop. For twenty years, he has administered the orphanage without the financial assistance of the Chinese government, but with the full knowledge of the government.

Bishop Jia, seventy-five years old, was consecrated the BishopUnderground Catholic Handicapped Orphanage in Hebei of Zhengding, Hebei on December 19, 1980, by the Pope's mandate. He has spent approximately twenty years in prison, having been arrested thirteen times since 2004. At the Bishop's last release from detention on July 7, 2010, the Cardinal Kung Foundation reported that "in the presence of the government officials, Bishop Jia stated that he had not accepted the Patriotic Association and also had not accepted the authority of the Bishops Conference of the official Church. He further stated that he was and would always be firmly adhered to the leadership of the Holy Father." Bishop Jia did not attend the illicit ordination to the episcopacy of Father Guo Jincai on November 20, 2010, an event widely reported in the world press. Bishop Jia also did not attend the eighth National Congress for Catholic Representatives, sponsored by the Chinese Catholic Patriotic Association, which is not recognized by Pope Benedict XVI.

Probably because of Bishop Jia's repeated rejections of the Patriotic Association and the National Congress for Catholic Representatives, the Chinese authorities are now trying to punish him and break his staunch fidelity to the Holy Father by threatening the welfare of the one hundred orphans under his care and protection.

In December, 2010, Mr. Yin of the United Front Department of Jinzhou, Mr. Guo of Political Secretary, Mr. An of the Bureau on Religious Affairs of Jinzhou, Communist Party Secretary in the Village Wuqiu, and Director Chen of the Public Security Bureau of Shijiazhuang took Bishop Jia away on three different occasions. They tried to force Bishop Jia to sign an agreement to release all his orphans to the government, and to disperse the thirty Catholic nuns who have been serving the orphanage. The communist officials threatened to take Bishop Jia away for a prolonged "study session" without any time limit if he refused to comply. Bishop Jia was also told by the government officials that, in the end, his orphans will be taken away with or without his signature, by force if necessary. However, Bishop Jia still refused to sign such release.

Underground Catholic Handicapped Orphanage in HebeiIn a desperate move, Bishop Jia called the Central Bureau on Religious Affairs in Beijing, protesting the above-mentioned threats from the local authorities. However, the Central Bureau said that such matters fall under the jurisdiction of the local bureau.

Even without any assistance from the government, the Bishop and the thirty nuns have worked very hard to care for these disabled orphans who have grown to love and depend emotionally and physically on these devoted caretakers in their entire lives. Once they are forcibly separated, they will suffer irreparable harm.

The writing is now on the wall. I believe that the authorities will soon carry out their threats by forcibly closing this orphanage.

The Cardinal Kung Foundation today asks that those individuals and organizations who have a special focus on children, family and human rights, take up this special call to action. Please urge the Chinese Government to cease the harassment ofUnderground Catholic Handicapped Orphanage in Hebei Bishop Jia Zhiguo and not to dismantle this unique orphanage,which is truly a large family,which serves as a home to so many disadvantaged and handicapped children. Contact the Chinese Embassy in your country and let them know that you, and the world, are keenly interested in this development and these children. Those who live in the United States may write to Ambassador Zhang YeSui, Embassy of The People's Republic of China, 3505 International Place, N.W., Washington, D.C., 20008. Time is of the essence. Please protect these helpless orphans. Make your appeal to the higher authorities of the Chinese government not to disrupt the care and love of these one hundred disabled orphans. Thank you so much.