Shanghai (AsiaNews) - Msgr. Aloyisius Jin Luxian, official bishop of Shanghai died today at 2.46 pm local time. The prelate, one of the most important personalities of the Chinese Church, was 97 years old and had been ill for a long time. In recent months he had been hospitalized and no one was allowed to visit him.
A highly controversial personality, often accused of being "too patriotic" and friendly with the regime, Msgr. Jin, who was a Jesuit, contributed to the development of the Church in a decisive way. Several years ago he was reconciled with the Pope and the Holy See considered him the "auxiliary" bishop of Shanghai. The ordinary bishop was Msgr. Joseph Fan Zhongliang, who is also very old and sick.
The diocese of Shanghai has not yet set a date for the funeral. According to AsiaNews sources the government has been long preparing for such a ceremony, especially from the point of view of who should preside. For the Holy See, in fact, the liturgy by right should be celebrated by Msgr. Thaddeus Ma Daqin, ordained on July 7. But after having decided to leave the Patriotic Association, Bishop Ma was put in solitary confinement in Sheshan seminary. According to unconfirmed reports in recent days Msgr. Ma has been removed from the diocese, perhaps to impede his participation in Msgr. Jin's funeral.