From The New York Times:
For the better part of the last 60 years, Bishop Cosma Shi Enxiang was imprisoned in Chinese jails and labor camps. For the last 14, he was held without charge in a secret location.
His offense: refusing to renounce his loyalty to the Roman Catholic Church, which ordained him in 1947.
Now, as unconfirmed reports of his death have emerged, Bishop Shi, who was to turn 94 this month, may face the gravest indignity of all. No announcement of his passing. No body for his family members to bury. No urn with his ashes.
The Chinese government has been so secretive about Bishop Shi’s detention that there is no certainty that he is dead.
The Catholic news agency UCANews reported the bishop’s death on Feb. 2, citing his great-niece Shi Chunyan, who said the family had been informed by a local official. But a Hong Kong-based reporter for the agency, Lucia Cheung, said that after family members approached the local authorities to recover the bishop’s remains, they were told that the official who had told them he was dead had been drunk, or misinformed.
“The public has a right to know what’s going on,” said Joseph Kung, who runs the Cardinal Kung Foundation in Stamford, Conn., named after an uncle, Ignatius Kung Pin-mei, the late bishop of Shanghai. “I am not sure whether he is alive or dead.”
Photo from UCANews.