Chou Chi-shih Joseph, C.M. (1892-1972)

In 1950, at Nanchang, Jiangxi, it was the turn of the archbishop, Monsignor Joseph Chow T'si-che, C.M., who taught Latin to me, Joseph Chow Chih-yi, C.M., in the seminary.

During their occupation of Mainland China, the Communists proposed to Monsignor Chow that they would have him appointed "Pope of the Patriotic Church of Communist China", with the intention of separating this so-called "patriotic" church from the Roman Catholic Church.

One day some insidious Communist leaders contacted him and made known their intention in visiting him. But, Monsignor answered them with marvelous, even piquant adroitness, as follows: "Thank you for your visit. Your idea is praiseworthy, but it is impossible for me to be Pope of Communist China, since Communist China is too small to have a Pope. If you could propose me as Pope of the Universal Church, I would willingly accept. Otherwise, it is useless to discuss the matter".

The Communists departed angrily; the archbishop was put under surveillance, and later imprisoned.

He died in a forced-labour camp in 1972, after 22 [?] years of imprisonment.