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New Chinese bishop, approved by Vatican, defies state control

July 09, 2012

A new Chinese bishop, who underlined his loyalty to the Holy See during his ordination, has been reporting “resting” at a seminary after he briefly disappeared following the ceremony.

Bishop Thaddeus Ma Dagin was ordained on July 7 as an auxiliary bishop of Shanghai. The new bishop emphasized his ties to Rome, making the ceremony a stark contrast to one a day earlier, in which Bishop Joseph Yue Fusheng had been ordained in defiance of the Holy See.

Bishop Ma, who had received the Pope’s approval for the ordination, resigned from the government-backed Patriotic Association. During the ceremony he did not allow a government-backed bishop, who had been ordained without Vatican approval and thus excommunicated, to join in the imposition of hands.

The ordination of Bishop Ma received scant attention from the state-controlled media, which had given heavy coverage to the illicit ordination in Harbin the previous day. Shortly after the ceremony, Bishop Ma dropped from view, raising some concerns among faithful Catholics. But he was reportedly to be resting at a seminary in Sheshan.


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