Shanghai still without Bishop Ma Daqi this Christmas

131213 Shanghai

Shanghai's Bishop Ma remains in confinement as Christmas approaches. This week he quoted Mandela and called for prayers for his passing.

The Chinese Catholic Patriotic Association organises the Church in China under government auspices. It consecrates bishops in China without the approval of the Pope. In July 2012, Bishop Thaddeus Ma Daqin resigned from the Association. He has been under house arrest ever since.

 - By Jian Mei,

Auxiliary Bishop Thaddeus Ma, in a weibo (microblog) message earlier this month, mourns the death of the first black president of South Africa and cites Mandela's quotations that call for freedom, faith and justice.

Bishop Ma usually issues spiritual or biblical reflections through his microblog ( in the mornings and evenings, even though his blog has remained stagnant since his reflection article on Pope Francis' Lumen Fidei was blocked since mid-October.

Bishop Ma cited three quotations of Mandela, the first black president of South Africa who died on Dec. 5. The first one says: 'Freedom is indivisible; the chains on any one of my people were the chains on all of them, the chains on all of my people were the chains on me.' It was taken from Mandela's book Long Walk to Freedom: The Autobiography of Nelson Mandela with Connections.

The second one Bishop Ma cited reads: 'Faith sometimes undergoes painful tests, but I will not give in to pessimism.' The third one is: 'Both the oppressors and the oppressed need liberation. The ones who take away others' freedom are prisoners of hatred. They are locked behind bars of prejudice and narrow-mindedness.'

Bishop Ma called for prayer at the end of the message, 'Let's pray for the late Mandela!' 

The quotations also seemed to describe Bishop Ma's present situation. He has been under house arrest at Sheshan seminary, Shanghai, right after his episcopal ordination on July 7, 2012. He was occasionally given limited freedom of movement. His appointment as bishop was revoked by the Chinese authorities in December 2012. However, Catholics in Shanghai and the universal Church recognize him a bishop of Shanghai...

READ FULL STORY: The Bishop of Shanghai, under house arrest, prays for Mandela and recalls his fight for freedom

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