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Chinese bishop released, but banned from celebrating Chrism Mass

Bishop Guo

Bishop Vincent Guo Xijin has been released from police custody but told he must not celebrate any more Masses as a bishop.

The bishop was detained yesterday after refusing to concelebrate Mass with Bishop Zhan Silu, a government-backed bishop who was excommunicated after being consecrated without Vatican approval.

AsiaNews reports that Bishop Guo has now been released, along with the diocesan chancellor, but has been banned from celebrating a planned Chrism Mass.

The bishop was reportedly detained to stop him presiding over a rival Chrism Mass, organised by members of the ‘underground’ Catholic. He has now agreed not to celebrate any further Masses in his role as a bishop.

Under a rumoured agreement between the Holy See and Beijing, Bishop Guo was asked to step aside in favour of the excommunicated Bishop Zhan. The government-backed bishop has requested reconciliation with Rome, but there has so far been no public pronouncement from the Vatican.