Priestly Crimes in China
4. PRIESTLY CRIMES IN CHINA
A Sentence of "Reform Through Labor"
Father Charles Bo Le Guo, 58, is a Chinese Roman Catholic priest, was accused of being a "counter-revolutionary" in 1956 and sentenced to five years in prison. He was released early in 1957 when the government retracted the charges, but re-arrested in December of the same year. He was sent to a labor camp in Qing Hai province, where he was confined for 28 years without any charges ever being filed against him. Published here is the Chinese government's January 4, 1996 "Letter of decision " that, while failing to mention his years of imprisonment, sentenced him to an additional two years of "reform through labor." It reads, in part "Guo...has carried out illegal evangelical work, offered Masses, administered [the] Sacrament of the Sick, administered other sacraments, promoted and supported the Roman Pontiff..."
THE PEOPLE'S GOVERNMENT OF SOOCHOW, PROVINCE OF JIANGSU REFORM THROUGH LABOR MANAGEMENT COMMITTEE
REFORM THROUGH LABOR DECISION LETTER NO.96-020
GUO BO LE, Christian name, Charles, male, age 58, Sharighainese.
Race: Han. Education Standard Attained: High school.
Work Unit: Liaoyang Middle School, Yangpu District of Shanghai, (retired).
Current address: No. 6, 20th Section of Yangsi Town North Steet, Shanghai.
Guo Bo Le was sentenced to 5 years imprisonment as a counterrevolutionary in 1956 and was granted early release in March 1957. In July, 1992, Guo was investigated by Changshou Public Security Bureau for involvement in numerous illegal religious activities. Subsequently, in September 1992, Guo was put on bail, awaiting trial by Shanghai Public Security Bureau. Again, on November 2,1995. Guo was arrested by Wuxian City Public Security Bureau for conducting illegal religious activities and disturbing the order of the society.
The investigation revealed the following crimes:
Since November 1981, Guo Bo Le joined and has been active in the "underground" Catholic Jesuit secret organization, and received theology instruction. From 1990, Guo has visited Wuxian City, Xiang City, Taiping, Weitang, Changshou, Xu City, Xinzhuang, and Yangytian districts, etc. and carried out illegal evangelical work: offered Masses, administered Sacrament of the sick, administered other sacraments, promoted and supported the Roman Pontiff, instigated the people, boycotted the Patriotic Association, established illegal "underground" evangelical "church" centers, organized "underground" catechism instructions and bible classes for primary and high school students, and thus seriously disturbing the normal religious and normal religious and social order.
In accordance with Code No. 2, Section 3 of People's Congress: "Decision on Escapees, and Crimes of Former Labor Camp Prisoners and Reform Detainers," it is now decided that Guo Bo Le be given 2 years of reform through labor. (a)
If one disagrees with this decision, an appeal may be filed with the Management Committee within 15 days of this decision.
Seal: Reform Through Labor Management Committee of Soochow January 4, 1996.
Taken from the June/July 1996 issue of "Catholic International" magazine.