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Vatican warns of excommunications if Chinese priest is ordained a bishop

Catholic World News - July 04, 2012

Noting that “the appointment of bishops is not a political but religious matter,” the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples is warning that Father Joseph Yue Fusheng will incur automatic excommunication if he is ordained Bishop of Harbin, a city of 10.6 million in northeastern China.

The Congregation also stated that it will not recognize Yue’s episcopal ministry and that any bishop who takes part in Yue’s scheduled July 7 ordination will incur automatic excommunication as well.

“Harbin’s episcopal ordination has been programmed unilaterally and will provoke divisions, splits and tensions within the Catholic community in China,” the Congregation said in a three-page document. “If the Church in China is to be Catholic, episcopal ordinations that have no prior papal approval must not take place.”

Yue has previously been warned that he does not have the papal mandate to receive episcopal ordination.

The Asian news agency UCA News reported that

further trouble has been brewing for local Catholics, sources say.

A young priest ordained last year and who has resisted illicit ordinations has gone missing and is suspected to have been “disappeared” by authorities, sources said …

The Vatican-approved Bishop Paul Pei Junmin of Shenyang (Liaoning) was called to a meeting in Beijing last week and has not been heard from since, the sources said.

Meanwhile, the ordination of Coadjutor Bishop-elect Thaddeus Ma Daqin in Shanghai is set to take place on July 7. Sources say that Bishop Vincent Zhan Silu of Mindong, illicitly ordained in 2000, will participate.

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