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China scolds Vatican for 'rude' response to illicit ordinations

Catholic World News - July 25, 2011

The Chinese government's ministry of religious affairs has denounced the Vatican for an "extremely unreasonable and rude" reaction to the illicit ordination of new bishops by the Catholic Patriotic Association.

In a statement marked by its patronizing language, the Chinese government said that the priests who had been ordained as bishops were “devout in their faith, their integrity and competence,” and the Vatican had hurt the feelings of many Chinese Catholics by refusing to accept the new bishops’ authority. “The majority of priests and believers will more resolutely choose the path of independently selecting and ordaining bishops,” the government insisted.

(Father Bernardo Cervellera of the AsiaNews service remarked that “it is somewhat curious that two of the priests of Catholic Church should need a license in orthodoxy from an association composed of atheist secretaries, led by an atheist Party!”)

The government statement contained what appeared to be a demand: that the Vatican must rescind the “so-called excommunications” of the illicitly ordained bishops in order to allow progress in relations between Beijing and Rome. The Chinese government has previously said that diplomatic relations will be possible only if the Vatican breaks off ties with the government of Taiwan and pledges not to “interfere” in the internal matters of the Chinese Catholic Church.

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  • Posted by: eustachius234 - Jul. 26, 2011 4:39 AM ET USA

    This is a leadership moment for the Vatican. While the rest of the formerly Christian West, is whoring themselves at China’s every whim, the Vatican can now be the lone voice of principled resistance, hopefully bring attention to the One, Holy, Catholic & Apostolic Church, and returning the Church Militant to the pews.

  • Posted by: Mike in Toronto - Jul. 25, 2011 6:42 PM ET USA

    The Chinese have absolutely no relevant points of reference, which is why they quite simply don't -- and won't -- get it.

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