TWO CATHOLIC priests in China’s Hebei province have been arrested before they could start classes on natural family planning and moral theology, according to the United States-based Cardinal Kung Foundation.
Fr Lu Genjun, 42, second vicar general of Baoding Diocese, and Fr Cheng Xiaoli, 40, of Anguo Diocese, were arrested May 14 in Anguo, about 130 miles southwest of Beijing, reported UCA News.
Fr Lu, who was ordained a priest in 1990, is being kept in a police detention centre in Dingzhou, near Anguo.
He was previously arrested in 1998 and held for a short period. He was arrested again shortly before Easter 2001 and sent for three years to a prisonlabour camp in Gaoyang. He was released last summer.
Fr Cheng belongs to a diocese which has had no bishop since Bishop Liu Lifen (Difen) died in jail in Chengde in 1992 at age 80. Fr Cheng was ordained in 1991. His whereabouts are unknown.
China forces those who want to practise their faith openly to join the state-sanctioned Chinese Catholic Patriotic Association, with government-appointed bishops. Catholics who wish to remain loyal to the Pope are forced underground. The CCPA officially spurns Vatican ties, but many bishops are secretly in communion with Rome.