Msgr. Guo Wenzhi, Bishop Emeritus of the unofficial Diocese of Qiqihar, who died June 29th in his residence after a long illness, is unlikely to have a funeral as befits a bishop. Sources of AsiaNews in China said the government was against the solemn funeral service that the priests and faithful of the diocese wanted to hold for the bishop, one of the most loved and respected of China’s Catholic Church.
Immediately after his death, local authority representatives said the deceased – who they recognised as a priest but not as a bishop – could only have a simple funeral and not a grand celebration.
Despite the government’s attitude, the Church of Qiqihar, led by Mgr Wei Jingyi, has called on all priests, official and not, to offer masses in suffrage for the soul of the deceased bishop.