Flag of China. Photo credit: Tomas Roggero via Flickr CC BY 20 12 10 15
Vatican City, Jun 26, 2017 CNA/EWTN News.- On Monday the Vatican issued a statement on the situation of the Chinese Bishop Peter Shao Zhumin of Wenzhou, who has not been returned since being forcibly removed from his diocese by the Chinese state May 18.
“The Holy See is observing with grave concern the personal situation of Bishop Peter Shao Zhumin of Wenzhou, forcibly removed from his episcopal see some time ago,” read the June 26 statement by the Director of the Holy See Press Office, Greg Burke.
The Catholic community of the diocese and his family and friends remain with no news of the bishop’s whereabouts or of the reason for his removal, the statement continued.
The Vatican-approved Bishop Shao, who is not recognized by the Chinese government, was summoned by their religious bureau on May 18 and has since not been heard from or returned, La Croix International reports.
Following canon law, the Vatican confirmed Bishop Shao as the successor of the Wenzhou diocese on Sept. 21, 2016, following the death of his predecessor, Bishop Vincent Zhu Weifang. Since then he has been removed from the diocese or detained on four different occasions.
He is not a part of the state-run Chinese Catholic Patriotic Association (CCPA) and is therefore part of the underground church not recognized by the communist government.