In his book The Souls of China, Ian Johnson writes about a type of religious persecution that was inflicted on some groups in China during the Cultural Revolution (1966–76):
Across the country, Buddhist, Daoist, and Catholic clergy who had taken vows of chastity were forced to marry. (page 26)
Sadly, Johnson doesn't provide any additional information about this, and a quick Google search didn't give me any clues either. This situation raises a number of related questions.
- First of all, do we know approximately how many cases of this type of persecution were inflicted on Catholics?
- Second, how did the government put the "marriage" into effect? Who officiated, and was it done in a church?
- Third, did the government actually attempt to enforce this "marriage"? Did it require that the "married" people live together? Did it somehow ensure that vows of chastity were broken?
- Fourth, would such involuntary "marriages," even if they were performed in accordance with government laws, considered invalid by the Church? I assume so!
Put simply, to what extent (both quantitatively and qualitatively) did the Chinese government force Catholic clergy to "marry" during the Cultural Revolution?