Priests and nuns in the Shanghai Diocese - whose Bishop is in detention - are being required to attend “learning” classes on the central theme of the National Congress of the Communist Party, reports Ucanews.
About 30 priests and a dozen nuns joined the program held at the Shanghai Institute of Socialism. It will be followed by another class in September for the rest of the Diocese's priests and nuns, said a source who spoke to ucanews.com on condition of anonymity.
Priests and nuns in Shanghai Diocese have been required to attend learning classes ever since their bishop, Thaddeus Ma Daqian, was placed under house arrest at Sheshan Seminary after he dramatically quit his government-appointed post in the Catholic Patriotic Association immediately following his episcopal ordination on July 7, 2012.
Shanghai Diocese is currently managed by a five-member team, which has allowed Religious Affairs Bureau officials to tighten their grip on the Diocese, the source said.
This year, the program was jointly run by the Diocese, the Shanghai Religious Affairs Bureau and the Institute of Socialism. It focussed on the theme of rule of law of the Fourth Plenary Session of the 18th National Congress of the Communist Party.
The nuns and priests listened to presentations on the “rule of law and the development of the China Catholic Church” and “the current situation of the China Church and its mission”.