Chinese authorities had turned down a request from worshippers to hold Fan's funeral service at Shanghai's main Catholic cathedral, the Cardinal Kung Foundation
Fan, who was imprisoned for much of the last two decades and spent his final years under house arrest, died last on Sunday at the age of 97 after several days of high fever, according to the US-based Cardinal Kung Foundation
, a Roman Catholic organisation.
He also served as a consultant for the Pope Paul VI Institute in Omaha, and for the Cardinal Kung Foundation
Aa "The situation is going from bad to worse," said Joseph Kung of the Cardinal Kung Foundation
, a US-based Catholic activist group.
"With the exception of a few of his very close relatives who were suddenly summoned by the government authority to his bedside before his death, none of his priests and other faithful were aware of his grave illness or of any other cause leading to his death; nor were they aware of the fact that he was dying in a hospital," according to a press release from the U.S.-based Cardinal Kung Foundation
. "The bishop was immediately ordered by the government authority to be cremated at approximately 5 a.m.
According to the U.S.-based Cardinal Kung Foundation
, which exposes persecutions against underground churches in China, plain-clothed police officers arrested three priests last week in China's Inner Mongolia and another priest in Hebei Province in the northeast earlier in the month.
Meanwhile, the U.S.-based Cardinal Kung Foundation
announced that Auxiliary Bishop Leo Yao Liang of Xiwanzi and two priests were detained in separate incidents in March and April.
Fan died at home on Sunday after several days of high fever, said the US-based Cardinal Kung Foundation
, which seeks to promote the Roman Catholic Church in China.
Separately, the Connecticut-based Cardinal Kung Foundation
said Chinese troops arrested eight Catholic priests in Heibei province who belong to the underground church.
On May 18, the U.S.-based Cardinal Kung Foundation
announced that police had arrested two underground Roman Catholic priests on May 14 in Communist China's Hebei province.
The 67-year-old bishop, who is not recognized by the ChineSe government, was arrested March 20, according to a report by the U.S.-based Cardinal Kung Foundation
(NCR, April 5), which supports the underground Catholic church in China.
News sources for details of persecution of Catholics in China include the Pontifical Institute for Foreign Mission (PIFM)'s AsiaNews, and the Cardinal Kung Foundation
based in Connecticut, U.S.A.