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China: episcopal ordination postponed, bishop-elect arrested

Catholic World News - June 27, 2011

For the 2nd time this month, Chinese officials have abruptly abandoned plans for the ordination of a bishop—after the priest who was to have been consecrated as a bishop obtained the approval of the Holy See.

Father Joseph Sun Jigen, who was to have been ordained on June 29 as Bishop of Handan, was taken into custody by police on June 27 after he finished a spiritual retreat.

Chinese officials have insisted that they will proceed with episcopal ordinations without seeking Vatican approval. But Father Sun apparently sought and received the Vatican’s approval on his own.

Earlier this month, plans for the unauthorized ordination of another bishop in Hankou were shelved, reportedly because of resistance from the Catholic faithful—including the priest who was to have been ordained.

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