We have $163,080 to go in our Fall Campaign. Every penny is used to strengthen the Church. See details!
Click here to advertise on CatholicCulture.org

China proceeds with illicit ordination; 8 bishops compelled to participate

Catholic World News - July 14, 2011

Ignoring urgent warnings from the Vatican, China’s Catholic Patriotic Association ordained a new bishop for the Shantou diocese on July 14 without approval from the Holy See. The illicit ordination escalates an already tense conflict between Rome and Beijing.

Father Joseph Huang Bingzhang became the 3rd Chinese bishop ordained in defiance of the Vatican. Following the last such unauthorized ordination, the Vatican formally announced that the newly installed Bishop Joseph Lei Shiyin of Leshan has been excommunicated, along with the other bishops who participated in his ordination.

Bishop Fang Xinyao, the president of the Catholic Patriotic Association, presided at the July 14 ceremony in Shantou. Eight other bishops—all of them recognized by the Holy See—joined in the ceremony. At least some of those 8 bishops, and perhaps all, had been forced by police to participate in the rite.

Father Federico Lombardi, the director of the Vatican press office, said that Pope Benedict XVI was following the latest developments in China "with sorrow and concern." In his messages to the Chinese Church, the Pope has exhorted Catholics to protect the unity among the faithful, avoiding moves that would deepen divisions between the government-approved "official" Church and the "underground" Church that remains loyal to Rome.

News-service reports of the ordination downplayed the use of force by Chinese officials. A Reuters report said that the 8 bishops “were requested by civil authorities” to attend the Shantou ceremony , and “accompanied by police” to the ceremony. In fact, AsiaNews reported that several bishops had been taken into custody by police, beginning several days before the ceremony, and transported under guard to Shantou. One other bishop who was ordered to attend, Bishop Paul Pei Junmin of Liaoning, remained in his cathedral, surrounded by priests of his diocese, in order to escape being arrested and compelled to participate. London’s Daily Telegraph described the Chinese officials’ seizure of bishops as kidnapping. The Vatican has warned that bishops who participate in illicit ordinations are subject to the penalty of excommunication. Although that penalty does not apply to those who can show that they acted under compulsion, the Vatican has indicated that even bishops who were forced to participate should make a public act of reparation to heal the wound inflicted on the unity of the Church.

Additional sources for this story
Some links will take you to other sites, in a new window.

An appeal from our founder, Dr. Jeffrey Mirus:

Dear reader: If you found the information on this page helpful in your pursuit of a better Catholic life, please support our work with a donation. Your donation will help us reach seven million Truth-seeking readers worldwide this year. Thank you!

Our Fall Campaign
Progress toward our year-end goal ($163,080 to go):
$200,000.00 $36,919.72
82% 18%
Sound Off! CatholicCulture.org supporters weigh in.

All comments are moderated. To lighten our editing burden, only current donors are allowed to Sound Off. If you are a donor, log in to see the comment form; otherwise please support our work, and Sound Off!

There are no comments yet for this item.

Fall Campaign
Subscribe for free
Shop Amazon
Click here to advertise on CatholicCulture.org

Recent Catholic Commentary

A different tone at this Synod? 1 hours ago
Church Fathers: St. Clement of Alexandria, Part I 4 hours ago
Internalizing marriage at this year's synod 6 hours ago
Gay Vatican official who 'came out' may influence Synod in a way he didn't expect--or want 24 hours ago
Another serial killer? Blame 'religious rage.' October 5

Top Catholic News

Most Important Stories of the Last 30 Days
Pope issues new rules to streamline annulment process CWN - September 8
In Cuba, Pope emphasizes service to the vulnerable, praises thaw in US-Cuban relations CWN - September 21
Pope challenges America in speech to US Congress CWN - September 24
As Synod opens, Pope calls on Church to defend ‘unity and indissolubility’ of marriage bond CWN - October 5