Biography of His Eminence Cardinal Ignatius Kung Pinmei


On August 2nd 1901, Kung was born in a Catholic family in Shanghai. He studied in Xuhui Middle School and entered a theology college at the age of 19. In 1930, he became a priest. By 1949, he was already the bishops of three dioceses ------the diocese of Suzhou, the diocese of Nanjing and the diocese of Shanghai.
After the CPC governed the mainland, it tried to cut the connections with the Holy See and established its own so called Chinese patriotic catholic church. As a loyal Roman Catholic, Kung boycotted the governmental controls and changes of the Catholic Church and refused to organize "anti imperialism patriotic movement” in the Catholic Church, for it was written in Matthew 22:21, Let Caesar's be Caesar's and Lord's be Lord's. How can Caesar control Lord’s Catholic Church!
He organized and instructed the Chinese subsidiary of the Army of Our Lady and told the members not to surrender, not to betray and not to step backwards, He also forbade members to register the group to the government and quitting the group. He also refused to admit the official Patriotic Church. In 1955, Kung and about 30 priests as well as about 300 other brethren were arrested and thrown to jail. Some rioters forced Kung to be disgraceful to some holy statues, but he genuflected in front of the statues and refused to do so. In 1960, Kung was sentenced to life by a court built up by a group of rioting students. The students also deprived Kung of political rights for life. His ‘crime’ was ‘being a chief criminal of the ‘Kung Pinmei anti-revolutionary group’’.
In 1979, during the imprisonment of Kung, Pope John-Paul II secretly ascended him as a cardinal in place of Cardinal Paul Yu Pin.
Kung was paroled in July, 1985, and was still imprisoned at home by the official patriotic church. In January, 1988, he was released and his political rights were recovered. In 1988, he got the permission to left for America due to heart disease, and lived in America for the rest of his life.
After his departure, he established the Cardinal Kung Foundation and frequently appealed for civil religious rights to the Chinese government.
He died of gastric cancer in Stanford, Connecticut at 3:05 a.m. (ET) March, 12th, 2000. He was 98 years old.
His concerns to the religious rights of the mainland and his attempts to be loyal to Pope and loyal to Christ guaranteed him an honorable place in the history of Catholicism. Though the was accused as a anti-revolutionary


Praying for the repose of His Eminence …

Eternal rest grant unto him, O Lord. And may Your Perpetual Light shine upon him. May he rest in peace.




DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit