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Papal mandate for bishop's ordination--key to dispute with China--was Vatican II teaching

July 22, 2011

Vatican II taught that a bishop’s ordination requires the approval of the Holy See. That teaching—now embodied in canon law—is at the crux of the Vatican’s current battle with the Chinese Catholic Patriotic Association, observes Sandro Magister of L’Espresso.

Retracing the history of the Vatican II pronouncement, Magister discovers that during the Council’s discussions, the insertion of a note requiring the approval of the Holy See was opposed by the young Father Joseph Ratzinger. In the following years the future Pontiff came to recognize the wisdom of the statement—which is now the key to his strategy as he fights to protect the Church in China from government control.


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