Ignatius Kung Pin-Mei

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His Eminence
Ignatius Pin-Mei Kung
Servant of God
Bishop of Shanghai
File:Bishop Kung 1949.jpg
Diocese Shanghai
See Shanghai
Appointed 15 July 1950
Installed 1950
Term ended 12 March 2000
Successor Joseph Fan Zhongliang
Other posts
Ordination 28 May 1930
Consecration 7 October 1949
by Antonio Riberi
Created Cardinal
  • 30 June 1979 (in pectore)
  • 29 June 1991 (revealed)

by Pope John Paul II
Rank Cardinal-Priest
Personal details
Birth name Ignatius Kung Pin-Mei
Born (1901-08-02)2 August 1901
Shanghai, Qing China
Died 12 March 2000(2000-03-12) (aged 98)
Stamford, Connecticut, United States of America
Buried Santa Clara Mission Cemetery, Santa Clara, California
Nationality Chinese
Styles of
Ignatius Kung
Reference style His Eminence
Spoken style Your Eminence
Informal style Cardinal
See Shanghai

Ignatius Kung Pin-Mei (simplified Chinese: 龚品梅; traditional Chinese: 龔品梅; pinyin: Gōng Pǐnméi; Wade–Giles: Kung P'in-mei; August 2, 1901 – March 12, 2000) was the Roman Catholic Bishop of Shanghai, China, from 1950 until his death. He spent 30 years in Chinese prisons for defying attempts by China's Communist government to control Roman Catholics in the country through the government-approved Chinese Patriotic Catholic Association.

On September 8, 1955, Cardinal Kung, along with several hundred priests and church leaders, was arrested and imprisoned. He was sentenced five years later to life imprisonment for counter-revolutionary activities.

Kung was secretly named a Cardinal in pectore in the consistory of 1979 by Pope John Paul II. The formula in pectore is used when a pope names a cardinal without announcing it publicly in order to protect the safety of the cardinal and his congregation. After he was released in 1986, he was kept under house arrest until 1988. Kung learned he was a cardinal during a private meeting with the Pope in Vatican City in 1988, and his membership in the College of Cardinals was made public in 1991.[1] By then, he had reached 80, so he did not have the right to participate in a conclave.

He died in 2000, aged 98, from stomach cancer in Stamford, Connecticut. His funeral was held at St. John the Evangelist Church (now the Basilica of Saint John the Evangelist) in Stamford with Cardinal James Francis Stafford, President of the Pontifical Council for the Laity, presiding. Kung's body was then transported to Star of the Sea Church in San Francisco, California, for a Low Mass with Cardinal Paul Shan Kuo-hsi of Taiwan presiding. A requiem Pontifical High Mass using the Tridentine Liturgy in Latin was said the following day at Five Wounds Parish in San Jose, California, with Cardinal Shan again presiding. Kung is interred next to Dominic Tang, S.J. (Archbishop of Canton, China) at Santa Clara Mission Cemetery in Santa Clara, California.[2]


  1. "His Holiness John Paul II Biography". Holy See Press Office. 30 June 2005. Retrieved 28 January 2014.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  2. "The Funeral". The Cardinal Kung Foundation. Retrieved 2007-06-02.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>

Further reference

  • Paul Philip Mariani. Church Militant Bishop Kung and Catholic Resistance in Communist Shanghai. (Cambridge, MA.: Harvard University Press, 2011). ISBN 9780674063174.

External links

Honorary titles
Preceded by
Ferdinando Giuseppe Antonelli
Oldest living cardinal
12 July 1993 – 12 March 2000
Succeeded by
Corrado Bafile