Bishop alleged missing amid Beijing-Vatican reconciliation

BEIJING (AP) — A Catholic news service says a bishop who has resisted demands to join China's Communist Party-controlled church body has been taken into custody despite recent moves by Beijing and the Holy See toward reconciliation.

Asia News reported that Peter Shao Zhumin dropped out of sight several days ago, but gave no details. Shao was appointed by the pope in 2016 and posted to the southeastern city of Wenzhou, which has a large Christian community.

Shao's disappearance follows a breakthrough agreement to give China some say over the appointment of bishops that critics called a cave-in to the ruling party just as it is waging a sweeping crackdown on religion. Others say it was it's an imperfect but much-needed step toward uniting Catholics in the world's most populous country.