CHINA Monsignor Cui Tai, detained and released for 16 years. Faithful call for an end to illegal detentions

Arrested without reason. Nothing has been heard of him since spring 2021. The faithful of the Xuanhua diocese miss their pastor. Criticism of the government for using coercive and inhuman means against sick religious. The authorities blindly adopt political and coercive pressures.

Beijing () – Since 2007, almost 16 years ago, Msgr. Augustine Cui Tai, bishop of the diocese of Xuanhua (Hebei), has been illegally detained by the authorities, without reason or legal proceeding. In recent years, the authorities granted short visits to his elderly relatives every Spring Festival (Lunar New Year) or Mid-Autumn. However, since the cleric was taken away in the spring of 2021, he has not returned home, and the faithful have no way of knowing anything about his whereabouts or how he is doing. Monsignor Cui, 71, is recognized by the Holy See, but not by the Chinese government.

In early 2013, after consultation and careful verification by the Vatican, Pope Benedict XVI approved and appointed Monsignor Cui Auxiliary Bishop of Xuanhua Diocese. In April of the following year he was ordained coadjutor bishop, but then the ordinary bishop, Thomas Zhao Kexun, entrusted him with full authority to lead the diocese. In 2018, Bishop Zhao passed away in hiding from him at the age of 94 due to old age and physical decline. Under canon law, Bishop Cui automatically became the ordinary bishop of the diocese.

Sources of They point out that this year coincides with the 10th anniversary of Bishop Cui’s ordination. The faithful of the diocese miss the imprisoned pastor and, although they have not heard from the bishop, they sincerely pray every day for his salvation, hoping that he can be among them again as soon as possible.

Other sources criticize the brutality of government authorities, who use coercive and inhumane means to treat sick religious, just when relations between China and the Vatican appear to be improving. The authorities blindly adopt political and coercive pressures, without an attitude of dialogue between equals or sincerity to solve problems. Sources of They hope that more people will pay attention and understand the current situation of the Chinese Church and call on the authorities to end the illegal detention of Bishop Cui and release the prisoner unconditionally as soon as possible.

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Written by Editor TLN

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