Death of Chinese prelate

Bishop Liu a key figure in underground Church

China – The death has been announced of retired Bishop Peter Liu Guandong of Yixian, the former head of the underground Catholic Church in China. A key figure in the establishing of the bishops’ conference in 1989, Bishop Liu spent the last 16 years of his life in hiding to avoid sanction by the communist authorities for his continued evangelisation. Ordained in 1945, Fr Liu was first arrested in 1955 and handed a two-year sentence for his membership of the underground Church. Arrested again in 1958 for his opposition to the state-backed Chinese Catholic Patriotic Association, Bishop Liu was imprisoned for life, though, eventually, he was released to house arrest in 1981, from which he later escaped with the aid of priests and supporters.