Chinese Bishop Detained for Quitting State Church

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A newly appointed Chinese bishop is being held in isolation after publicly resigning from his position in China's state-sanctioned church.

Bishop Thaddeus Ma Daqin announced that he was quitting all of his positions in the Catholic Patriotic Association during his ordination speech, July 7.

"At this moment, I recall that the Holy Church reminded me that when you serve as an assistant bishop in Shanghai, your body and mind should be completely focused on the chaplaincy and evangelism," he said.

"It is not convenient to hold any other position any more, so, from this moment of ordination, I will no longer be a member of the patriotic association," Ma added.

Several state officials were in the audience during his ordination speech.  Bishop Ma disappeared shortly after Saturday's ceremony. 

It's believed Chinese authorities have banned him from performing any religious duties and he's being held in isolation at a seminary.

The Catholic Patriotic Association was established to ensure party control over Catholics in China.  Some say Ma's announcement was seen as a rebuke to China's communist rulers.

The Vatican does not recognize the authority of the CPA to ordain priests. Ma was appointed by the Vatican.

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