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China: excommunicated prelate to take part in bishop’s ordination

April 17, 2012

With the approval of the Holy See and the Chinese government, Father Joseph Chen Gong’ao, 47, is scheduled to be ordained on April 19 as bishop of Nanchong, a city of 7.3 million in central China. The diocese, which has not had a bishop since 2004, has 80,000 Catholics, 13 priests, and 11 sisters.

The Holy See’s approval, according to UCA News, was granted in 2002. Father Chen is now a member of the national committee of the Chinese Catholic Patriotic Association and chairman of the city’s Chinese Catholic Patriotic Association.

Paul Lei Shiyin, who was excommunicated because he was ordained a bishop without Vatican approval, is expected to be a concelebrant at the Mass of episcopal ordination.


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  • Posted by: Defender - Apr. 17, 2012 11:37 AM ET USA

    I hate to say it, but once again the Vatican is getting "played" by China's Patriotic Catholic Church. They make their own bishops, wait a while, say they're sorry and receive an okay from the Vatican. Meanwhile, many are members of both the Patriotic and underground churches-everyone knows you cannot serve two masters. Meanwhile, those who are validly ordained are subject to reeducation and/or illegal detentions - what does this say to the faithful?