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Chinese clerics resist pressure to join in illicit ordinations

July 08, 2011

Catholic priests in the Diocese Liaoning have circled around their bishop, hoping to prevent authorities from forcing him to participate in the ordination of another bishop without Vatican permission.

Bishop Paul Pei Junmin—who is recognized by both the Vatican and the Beijing regime--has been ordered to join in an illicit ordination ceremony scheduled for July 14 in the Shantou diocese. Last year authorities forced him to participate in an ordination in the Chengde diocese.

This week the Vatican repeated its warning to Chinese bishops that they must not participate in episcopal ordinations that are not authorized by the Holy See. The penalty for involvement in such illicit ceremonies is excommunication—although the Vatican has also noted that bishops who attend under compulsion may escape that penalty.

Chinese clerics report that they are under intense pressure to accept the ordinations organized by the Catholic Patriotic Association. The priests of the Liaoning diocese have joined in a protest against the authorities’ demand that Bishop Pei join in the Shantou ceremony.


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  • Posted by: AgnesDay - Jul. 08, 2011 5:00 PM ET USA

    These men are the real heroes in the Church. Let us pray to be made one-tenth of the men they are before we die.