The forty-four year-old auxiliary bishop is still confined under house detention in the seminary of Shanghai, which was shut down after his arrest last July 7 in retaliation for his courageous public resignation from the government-controlled Catholic Patriotic Association. He is not allowed to leave the grounds or perform his duties as bishop, but he is able to get out communications from his blog. On November 3 Bishop Ma posted these moving and prophetic, personal reflections. UCANews carried it in English translation:
“Faith of a Child”
“I am gratified that my parents died early. My father passed when I was studying my second year of theology. I spent the whole winter break on his sickbed. Since I entered the seminary, we had less chance to talk, unlike when I was a child and he used to tell me lots of stories. He became quieter once I learnt to study and read. Then when he was seriously ill, without much strength to speak, it was my turn to sit near his bed and quietly keep him company.” Read the full two-page post here. Scroll down to the bottom of the page.
For further reference and the full text of his jarring acceptance speech after his episcopal consecration, go to AsiaNews here.
“In the light of the teaching of Our Mother Church, as I now serve as a bishop, I should focus on the pastoral work and evangelization. It is inconvenient for me to take on certain responsibilities. Therefore, from this day of consecration, I will no longer be convenient to be a member of the Patriotic Association. (Warm applause resounded through the church, over and over again; many participants were moved to tears!)
“May we be one. For the Greater Glory of God!”