Malaysian paper The Star cited a Xinhua News Agency report that Bishop Dong Guangqing, who died Saturday, was a former vice president of the Chinese Patriotic Catholic Association, which operates officially permitted Catholic churches in China.
The communist government ordered Chinese Catholics to break ties with the Vatican in 1951 and permits worship only in state-monitored churches.
Millions more Catholics remain loyal to the pope and worship in underground "house churches". Clergy and worshippers in the underground church are frequently jailed and harassed.
Dong was born in Xiaogan in Hubei province in central China and was named bishop of Hankou, a city in Hubei, in 1958, Xinhua said.
No details on survivors or funeral arrangements have been announced.
First bishop of China's state-sanctioned Catholic church dies (The Star, 13/3/07)
LINKS (not necessarily endorsed by Church Resources)
Catholic Church in China (Wikipedia)
Chinese Catholic Patriotic Association (Wikipedia)
Catholic Church in China (Catholic Hierarchy)
China bishop still missing (CathNews, 17/4/07)
"Christian explosion" among Chinese intellectuals, expert finds (CathNews, 23/3/07)
No rest for Zen, Pope decides (CathNews, 22/3/07)
Bibles for Beijing Olympics (CathNews, 12/3/07)
14 May 2007