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Shaolin Temple claims rumors are groundless

(Global Times)

10:28, October 16, 2011

The well-known Shaolin Temple in Henan Province released an announcement dismissing rumors regarding the temple's abbot and welcomed reports from the public regarding any illegal or broken Buddhist commandments.

The announcement published on the Shaolin Temple's official website on Thursday said that recent rumors spread online and re-posted by the media regarding the temple's abbot Shi Yongxin are groundless, which have harmed the reputation of the abbot and the temple.

On October 8, a rumor spread online which said Shi had a mistress who was a student at Peking University, and now had a child living in Germany.

The rumors also claimed that Shi had $3 billion in an overseas bank account, according to the Guangzhou-based New Express.

The announcement declared the temple is collecting evidence from the public in order to confirm any the rumors.

A 50,000 yuan ($7,730) reward will be given to those who provide evidence which can confirm the rumors, according to the announcement.

However, calls made by the Global Times to the abbot's office went unanswered Friday.

An officer from the public affairs department at the temple, and who refused to be named, told the Global Times on Friday that the abbot's office is now in charge of the issue, and refused to elaborate further on the situation.

Monks from the abbot's office at the Shaolin Temple later replied the rumors were an attempt at defamation, and not worth responding at all, according to the New Express website.

Shi Yongxin, 56, the 30th abbot of the Shaolin Temple, is the first monk ever to hold an MBA degree in China, and he has been involved in a series of commercial and business activities in the past which has caused controversy among the public.


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