VATICAN - Holy See Press office statement with regard to arrest of Chinese Bishop

Thursday, 11 March 2004

Vatican City (Fides Service) - On March 10 at the end of the morning the Director of the Holy See press office, Dr. Joaquín Navarro-Valls, released the following statement:
“The Holy See learned with concern and sadness the news, given by international agencies of the arrest in China of a Catholic Bishop in the Helongjiang region. Any charges against the Bishop should be made public, as in every country under the rule of law. The Holy See, for its part, has no reason to doubt the Bishop’s innocence.”
The news of the arrest of Bishop Wei Jingyi of Qiqihar diocese on March 5, was confirmed by Fides on March 9, after verification with a reliable source. Bishop Wei Jingyi, aged 45, was ordained a priest in 1985 and appointed Bishop of Qiqihar in 1995. He has already been arrested twice and sent to labour camps: from 1987 to 1989 and more recently from 1990 to 1992. (S.L.) (Agenzia Fides 11/3/2004 - Righe 12; Parole 167)