Wang made plans to enter the monastery of the Chengdu Diocese at age 10 and was consecrated a priest in 1948. He did pastoral work in his hometown, where Catholicism had already existed for more than two centuries, and was loved and highly esteemed. After the establishment of the Chinese People’s Republic, he sponsored the anti-imperialist and patriotic movements of the Chinese Catholic Church. On 30 Nov 1950, Wang and more than 500 converts, under the direction of his church and diocese, issued a declaration advocating “severing all relations with the imperialists” and “establishing a new church on the principle of self-government, self-support, and self-propagation.” Other churches emulated the move.
Wang was one of the sponsors of the Chinese Catholic Church. In 1957 the Chinese Catholic Patriotic Association (CPA) was officially inaugurated, and Wang was elected a member of its standing committee.
On 16 Dec 1957, the Chengdu Diocese convened a meeting in Chengdu attended by over 100 delegates from 35 cities and counties in Sichuan and took the lead in implementing the resolution of the First Representative Meeting (1957) of the Chinese Catholic Church toward independence and self-government. They chose their own bishop, Li Xitang, who was consecrated in Jul 1958 in the Chengdu Pinganjie Cathedral by Bishop Wang Wencheng of the Nanchang Diocese. Wang was appointed chief of the advisory and consultative councils. In 1980 he was chosen vice chairperson of the Chinese CPA. Concurrently, he was also the chairperson of the Sichuan CPA, a member of the standing committee of the Sichuan Provincial People’s Congress, and a member of the Sixth and Seventh Chinese People’s Political Consultative Councils.
This article is reproduced, with permission, from A Dictionary of Asian Christianity, copyright © 2001 by Scott W. Sunquist, Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., Grand Rapids, Michigan. All rights reserved.