Priests and nuns in the Shanghai Diocese were forced to attend compulsory “study classes,” which observers believe were imposed by Chinese authorities in response to the new Shanghai auxiliary’s renunciation of the Catholic Patriotic Association.
In September, about 80 diocesan priests and 80 nuns of the Our Lady of Presentation Congregation were divided into three groups to take three days of classes at the Shanghai Institute of Socialism.
Classes lasted 12 hours each day and included university professors lecturing about strengthening the sense of duty toward China, the law, and the independent church principle.
The main subjects included state-religion relations, the Communist Party’s religious concepts, policies and regulations, the socialist core value system and economic development in China, it said.
Auxiliary Bishop Thaddeus Ma Daqin, 45, quit the government-approved Catholic Patriotic Association at his ordination July 7.
Since then, he has been in “retreat” at the Sheshan Seminary with a “certain degree of freedom,” sources said.