Fifteen Chinese bishops cancel trip to Belgium

(UCAN) Fifteen Chinese bishops have cancelled a trip to Belgium to take part in a pastoral forum next month, saying it was “not convenient” as the dates clashed with the 19th National Communist Congress.

Father Jeroom Heyndrickx, former director and founder of the Verbiest Foundation, said the trip to attend the Verbiest Institute at Leuven University from Oct. 15-19 was cancelled at the request of the bishops.

He said the reason given was that the bishops’ visit would have taken place at the same time as the week-long National Communist Congress in Beijing which starts on Oct. 18.

“From an independent and well-formed source, they learned that bishops would not be allowed to go aboard during that time,” Father Heyndrickx said. [More]