Auxiliary Bishop Thaddeus Ma Daqin of Shanghai has recently rejoined the Patriotic Association, for which he denounced his involvement at his episcopal ordination on July 7, 2012 but he expressed “regrets” in an article on his blog last June.
According to a copy of an agenda of a joint meeting of the Shanghai
Patriotic Association and Church Affairs Commission on Jan. 20, Bishop
Ma was elected as a “supplemented member” and a standing committee
member of the Eighth Committee of the Shanghai Municipal Patriotic
The agenda addressed Bishop Ma as “Father Ma Daqin”.
Bishop Ma’s bishop status was revoked by the Bishops’ Council in China in December 2012.
He has been under surveillance and lived in Sheshan Seminary since his ordination.
The agenda also included a report of the Ninth Assembly in Beijing
Dec. 26-29, 2016, as well as a report of the Shanghai PA and of the
Church affairs commission in 2016.
Priests in China told AsiaNews that Catholics reacted negatively to
Bishop Ma’s article honoring the Patriotic Association and to his
re-joining the PA, saying Bishop Ma’s move is a move to further divide
the Church in China.
A source in Shanghai said actually he has become a member of
Patriotic Association of Songjiang district in Shanghai since last
A priest said Bishop Ma’s denunciation of PA at his ordination and
the subsequent restrictions that he suffers have given hope to the
Catholics in the open and underground communities that the Church can
live their true faith.
Now, he said, some think that Bishop Ma’s rejoining the PA is a way
to express his influence in his diocese. Other Catholics in China said
the Church has to accept the reality that they are tightly controlled by
the government, the priest said.
However, some Catholics still find Bishop Ma courageous and influential in the diocese.
Still, some comments on Bishop Ma’s article of June 2016 on his blog
that they wondered it was really the bishop’s intention to do so.