Bishop Joseph Guo Jincai, one of two Chinese participants attending the Synod of Bishops at the Vatican, concelebrated Mass with St. John Paul II twice in 1995. Although he was a member of the government-approved Chinese Catholic Patriotic Association — not recognized by the Vatican — it was only after his illicit ordination as a bishop of the Chinese-designated Diocese of Chengde that he was automatically excommunicated.
That excommunication — and the excommunications of seven other Chinese priests — were lifted as part of the Vatican-China agreement on bishops announced in September.
In January 1995, then-Father Jincai was part of the Chinese delegation to World Youth Day in the Philippines, where he concelebrated Mass with the pope. In June of that year, when St. John Paul visited Brussels for the beatification of Father Damian De Veuster, he concelebrated with three Chinese priests, including Father Jincai.
All of this took place as the Vatican was working to make inroads in China, where the Catholic Church and others had been repressed under the communist government.