|Bishop Jin Luxian and his chosen successor, Joseph Xing Wenzhi|
Bishop Thaddeus Ma Daqin, who was to succeed Bishop Aloysius Jin Luxian, astonished and enraged officials by publicly declaring he was leaving the state-run church. The issue has not been resolved, with Bishop Ma reportedly stripped of his title and his movements curtailed. Catholics in China say the pressure from the state-run church can be unbearable, and priests, especially younger ones and those who “look to Rome,” may prefer to remain at a lower level in the hierarchy. Bishop Jin’s life was marked by extraordinary political conflict. Born in 1916, he was a patriot: in “The Memoirs of Jin Luxian, Volume One: Learning and Relearning 1916-1982,” a translation of which was published late last year in English, he wrote: “I was born at a time when the people of our country were suffering from the chaos of civil disorder and foreign occupation, so during my youth there was no National Day and only national disgrace.”
Bishop Jin had both “the unalterably Catholic faith and the unassailable confidence of a Chinese patriot,” wrote Father Michael Kelly, a fellow Jesuit who is executive director of the Union of Catholic Asian News.In 1985 he was appointed a bishop by the state-run church, and in 2004 he was recognized by the Vatican, bringing full circle a life that included studies in Rome in the 1940s. Bishop Jin, who was orphaned by the age of 14, attended Jesuit high school in Shanghai and became a Jesuit in 1938, aged about 22. He obtained a doctorate in theology at the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome, returning to China not long after Mao Zedong took power in 1949, Union of Catholic Asian News reported.
He was a “come-back kid,” it reported, whose reputation and influence led to his being dubbed the “Yellow Pope,” the title of a 2006 biography by a French journalist, Dorian Malovic. ignificantly, by cooperating with the authorities, he persuaded them eventually — by a circuitous route — to allow prayers for the pope to be said during Mass and helped to develop the liturgy in Chinese, Union of Catholic Asian News wrote.
Writing in Ignatius Insight in 2010, the historian Anthony E. Clark described Bishop Jin as “China’s most powerful aboveground bishop” (in contrast to the “underground” church that follows the Vatican). “He is one of the Church’s most enigmatic men, and one often wonders if what he is saying is a direct truth or a circuitous statement, a result of his years of dealing with Communist officials who hold an ever-tighter grasp on his movements as China’s most public prelate,” Dr. Clark wrote.
Link (here) to the New York Times