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‘Reconstructor’ of Catholic Church in Ankang, China, dies at 91

Bishop John Baptist Ye Ronghua of the Catholic diocese of Ankang, in the province of Shaanxi in China, died at the age of 91.

A report on the Catholic news site AsiaNews carried no details of the bishop’s demise.

Bishop Ye, dubbed as the “reconstructor” of the Church in Angkang, was born on June 20, 1931, into a Catholic family in the village of Shankou, which is located near Hanzhong.

He entered the seminary in September 1945 before moving to the regional seminary of Kaifeng, in the province of Henan.

The rise to power of the communists abruptly stopped the formation of new priests of Shaanxi.

Bishop Ye completed his studies in 1958.

In 1966, he was tagged as a “counter-revolutionary” and was sentenced to re-education through forced labor.

He was only ordained priest on December 10, 1981.

In 1987, Bishop Antonio Li Duan of Xian sent Bishop Ye to Ankang with the task of rebuilding the small Catholic community in the area.

He was consecrated as bishop on December 10, 2000.

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