Dominic Tang

Dominic Tang Yee-ming, S.J. (Simplified Chinese: 邓以明; Traditional Chinese: 鄧以明; Pinyin: Dèng Yǐmíng; Wade-Giles: Teng I-ming; May 13, 1908 - June 27, 1995) was a Chinese Jesuit priest. Appointed Bishop in 1951 and later archbishop of Canton, he spent twenty-two years in jail for his loyalty to the Catholic Church and died in exile in the United States.

His Excellency, The Most Reverend

Dominic Tang Yee-ming

Archbishop of Canton
ChurchRoman Catholic Church
PredecessorAntoine-Pierre-Jean Fourquet
Ordination31 May 1941
Consecration13 February 1951
by Gustave-Joseph Deswazières
Personal details
Born(1908-05-13)13 May 1908
British Hong Kong
Died27 June 1995(1995-06-27) (aged 87)
Stamford, Connecticut, United States
BuriedSanta Clara Mission Cemetery, Santa Clara, California, United States
DenominationRoman Catholic
Previous post(s)
  • Apostolic Administrator of Canton (1950–1981)
  • Titular Bishop of Elatea (1950–1981)
MottoUt omnes unum sint
(English: That they all may be one)
Coat of arms
Ordination history of
Dominic Tang
Priestly ordination
Date31 May 1941
PlaceShanghai, Republic of China
Episcopal consecration
Consecrated byGustave-Joseph Deswazières (Pakhoi)
Date13 February 1951
PlaceCanton, China
Episcopal succession
Bishops consecrated by Dominic Tang as principal consecrator
Andrew Tsien Chih-ch'un11 April 1992
Styles of
Dominic Tang Yee-ming
Reference styleHis Excellency
The Most Reverend
Spoken styleYour Excellency
Religious styleBishop

Jesuit and Bishop

He was born in Hong Kong and decided to enter the Jesuit novitiate in Spain in August 1930. Back in China, he studied Catholicism in Shanghai. He was ordained as a priest at the age of 33 on 31 May 1941[3] during World War II. After his ordination he worked as a parish priest, principal of a primary school and did social welfare work in the Ecclesiastical Province of Guangzhou.[3] Pope Pius XII appointed him on 1 October 1950 as Apostolic Administrator of Canton (Guangzhou), and on 13 February 1951 was ordained titular bishop of Elateia by Bishop Gustave Deswaziere, who said of him: "By accepting the appointment from the Holy See in these difficult times, the new bishop was showing absolute obedience and a spirit of sacrifice."[3]

Twenty-two years in Jail

Archbishop Tang was arrested on February 5, 1958. The People's Republic of China charged him as "the most faithful running-dog of the reactionary Vatican." He remained in jail for 22 years in Laogai prison because he refused to sever contact with the Pope, as the government ordered him to. His sudden release in 1981 was due to a developing cancer, he then was given permission to leave the People's Republic of China for a cancer operation in Hong Kong.[3][4]

Archbishop Tang was never brought to trial, and therefore, was never convicted of any crime. After his release, he never showed any bitterness for his 22 years of imprisonment, even though no apology was ever given by the Chinese government.

Later years

On 26 May 1981, at the age of 73, he was appointed Archbishop of Canton (Guangzhou), which was rejected by China at once. In 1987, he released his book How Inscrutable His Ways! In it he summarized his attitudes while incarcerated for 22 years:

  • "In prison, I always asked God to grant me the grace to progress in virtue., e.g. humility and obedience....I obeyed only the regulations which did not conflict with the principles of my faith. I want to be gentle and kind to others, without resisting ill-treatment from others; when controlled and walked on, I did not complain. There are many opportunities for practicing virtue in prison."
  • "When I was a seminarian, I learned to do God's will. God's will required me to practice virtue in prison. This was God's love for me."[5]

He died in Stamford, Connecticut at the age of 87 and was buried at Mission Santa Clara de Asís in Santa Clara, California.


  1. "Archbishop Dominic Tang Yee-ming (Deng Yiming)". Kansas City: Retrieved April 22, 2020.
  2. Saxon, Wolfgang (June 29, 1995). "Dominic Tang Yiming, 87, Dies; Archbishop in Exile From China". The New York Times. Retrieved April 22, 2020.
  3. Kung Foundation website
  4. Encyclopædia Britannica
  5. Dominic Tang Yee-ming, How Inscrutable His Ways!

Further reading

Catholic Church titles
Title last held by
Adolphe Rayssac
Apostolic Administrator of Canton
Succeeded by
None (title dormant)
Title last held by
Antoine-Pierre-Jean Fourquet
Archbishop of Canton
Succeeded by
James Lin Bingliang
Preceded by
John Christopher Cody
Bishop of Elatea