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Catholic World News

China issues new threat of illicit ordinations

June 23, 2011

Chinese authorities say that they are making plans to appoint new bishops, pointing toward a new clash with the Vatican.

The government-controlled Xinhua news agency says that officials plan to fill 40 episcopal posts in the near future. The Catholic Patriotic Association is touting plans to begin appointing bishops immediately.

The appointment of bishops has been the primary bone of contention in a lengthy struggle between Rome and Beijing. The ordination of a bishop without the approval of the Holy See carries the penalty of excommunication. Earlier this month, plans for an illicit episcopal ordination under the auspices of the Catholic Patriotic Association were postponed, apparently because of widespread opposition not only among the Catholic faithful but also from the priest who had been selected for ordination.


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  • Posted by: Defender - Jun. 23, 2011 11:50 AM ET USA

    This is not really a new clash with the Vatican, but a continuation of what has slowly been happening. China has been dragging the Vatican down the primrose path, taking detours every so often, all the while their ultimate intent was clear: they will do what they want, when they want to - anything else is "interfering with internal affairs." Those in the underground Church have been left to suffer for their allegiance to the pope, while the Vatican plays politics.