Bishop Vincenzo Guo Xijin of the Mindong diocese announced his decision to resign from public life and retire to a life of prayer in a speech delivered at his last public Mass on the evening of Oct. 4.
Guo, who has suffered homelessness and imprisonment many times at the hands of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), submitted his letter of resignation to the Vatican.
“Tonight will be the last public Mass that I preside: From tomorrow I will only do private Masses,” he informed his parishioners. “The faithful can receive the sacraments and attend Mass at the nearby church.”
Guo described the reign of Chinese president Xi Jinping and Pope Francis as “a new era” and “a new page for the Church,” warranting other leaders.
I am no longer able to keep up with this era. Tweet
“In such an extraordinary historical moment, we need people with great talent, wisdom, virtue and knowledge to be able to keep up with this era or even precede the steps of the era by guiding it,” he argued.
The speech was laden with self-deprecatory and resigned remarks:
I am a person who has no talent; my head is now a void unable to change with a changing society; [I am] a shepherd born in a poor village who has no talent, no virtue, no wisdom, no skills, no knowledge; in the face of this age that changes so rapidly, I feel almost incapable.
The prelate, described as “a great confessor of the faith,” thanked God “for enlightening me by making me understand that I am no longer able to keep up with this era,” he resolved. “I do not want to become an obstacle to progress.”
When asked what could be done to stop the persecution of faithful Catholics in China or to support his pleas for a faithful appointment for the See of Hong Kong, Zen replied: ”Nothing. I’ve done more than I can, and there is nothing more to do other than prayer.”