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China planning illicit ordination on feast of Church unity?

Catholic World News - June 24, 2011

Chinese officials are threatening to install a new bishop for the Leshan diocese, ignoring the Vatican’s warning that the ordination of a bishop without approval from the Holy See will bring the penalty of excommunication.

Father Paul Lei Shiyin will reportedly be ordained on June 29. If the report is true, the ceremony would be a double slap at the Vatican, since June 29 is the feast of Sts. Peter and Paul: the day when bishops throughout the Catholic world traditionally reaffirm their union with the Holy See, and newly installed archbishops travel to Rome to receive the pallium as an outward sign of that communion.

Other Catholic bishops and priests in China have been under heavy pressure to participate in the illicit ordination of government-backed bishops. The Vatican has warned that this participation could also lead to excommunication—although some clerics may escape that penalty because they are acting under compulsion.

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