Lest we forget our brothers and sisters in China, living under oppression and persecution for seeking to live their faith, the following information from the Cardinal Kung Foundation arrived last night:
Father LU Genjun, 44 years old, and Father GUO Yanli, 39 years old, who belong to the diocese of Baoding in Hebei, were arrested by Chinese security officials on February 17 last week while waiting for a friend at the Baoding train station. Father GUO was sent to Xushui County detention center while Father Lu was sent to an undisclosed location. We do not know why they were arrested and have no other information on their arrests.
Father Lu was previously arrested on Palm Sunday, April 5, 1998 for a short period and was arrested again shortly before Easter in 2001 and detained for three years in the Gao Yang County labor camp in Hebei. Shortly after his release from the labor camp, he was arrested again on May 14, 2004 for an unknown period. He was ordained a Roman Catholic priest in 1990.
Father Guo has no previous arrest record. He was ordained a Roman Catholic priest in 1998.
Bishop Jia Zhiguo who was arrested on November 8, 2005 is still detained. We do not know where he is being held. Bishop Jia is 70 years old and was ordained a bishop in 1980. He was previously in jail for approximately 20 years and has been under strict surveillance for many years. He takes care of approximately 100 handicapped orphans in his house. As far as we know, this is the eighth time that he has been arrested since January 2004.
I get press releases like this from them on a regular basis. I think of them when I hear American Catholics complain that having to drive an extra mile to get to Mass on Sunday is an onerous burden.