Do you know Henri Pinault?

Well, I didn’t knew this name but found his passport (pictures) randomly during a web research. I contacted the today’s owner of his passport to learn more about Pinault and the circumstances about the finding. David, the owner found his passport some time ago on a antique market in Chengdu, the capital of Sichuan province in China together with some other stuff he bought. David assumes that his passport was taken and kept by the communist authorities in 1952 when Pinault got arrested.

Henri-Marie-Ernest-Désiré Pinault (September 7, 1904 – February 24, 1987) was the Roman Catholic bishop of Chengdu from 1949 until 1983.

On July 14, 1949, Pinalut was appointed to replace the late Jacques-Victor-Marius Rouchouse as Bishop of Chengdu, the highest post in the Roman Catholic Diocese of Chengdu in the Ecclesiastical province of Chongqing; Bishop Pinault received his episcopal ordination on September 21, 1949. Only two months later, on December 28, 1949, the city of Chengdu was captured by communist forces. In order to protect his fellow clergy members, Bishop Pinault took personal responsibility for the ownership of all church property. This act placed him at risk as Communist Party administrators placed heavy taxes on religious properties and imprisoned clergy members. Officials ruled that Bishop Pinault was unable to pay his “debts” and threw him in prison in early 1952, where he underwent repeated interrogations. Finally, Bishop Pinault was expelled from China, leaving Chengdu on March 29, 1952 and arriving in Hong Kong on April 14. Bishop Pinault arrived in Marseilles on June 30 and shortly after visited his mother in Évran. After his departure from China, Pinault retained the title of Bishop of Chengdu, which he would hold until 1983.

The story”Give Me Jesus: The Story of a Missionary Preist” by Christopher Zehnder – an account of a priest who worked within the Diocese of Chengdu gives a good impression about the situation of the catholic church and work of the missionaries at that time in China.

The full content about Pinault can be found here…


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