Report: Key unofficial bishop in Vatican-China deal detained

A bishop in China's underground church has reportedly been detained, just as the Vatican has been laying the groundwork for him to step aside as part of a historic deal with Beijing authorities over bishop nominations.

The AsiaNews agency, which closely covers the Catholic Church in China, said Tuesday that Bishop Vincent Guo Xijin and his chancellor were taken away late Monday, at the start of Holy Week.

A Vatican official says Guo has agreed to step down and become auxiliary bishop of Mindong to allow the official state-appointed bishop, Monsignor Zhan Silu, to become the Vatican-recognized diocesan leader. That deal, and a similar one in Shantou diocese, have helped pave the way for a broader agreement over bishop nominations that has been negotiated but not signed.