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Chinese authorities 'investigating' bishop who renounced Patriotic Association membership

Catholic World News - July 12, 2012

Chinese authorities have announced an investigation into the conduct of Bishop Thaddeus Ma Daqin, who is being held in custody after announcing his resignation from the government-backed Catholic Patriotic Association.

Both the Patriotic Association and the Chinese bishops’ conference (which is recognized by the government, but not by the Vatican) have announced that they are looking into reports that Bishop Ma violated the rules of the bishops’ conference “with regard to bishops’ election and ordination.”

The two government-backed bodies are reportedly questioning the other Catholic bishops who participated in the ordination of Bishop Ma. Although the ordination had taken place with the approval of the government (as well as that of the Holy See), Bishop Ma pointedly declined to allow an illicitly ordained bishop to join in the imposition of hands, and further dismayed officials of the Patriotic Association by announcing his resignation from the group, which has been condemned by the Vatican.

The announcements from China came just after the Vatican formally announced the excommunication of Bishop Joseph Yue Fusheng, who was ordained on July 6 in Harbin without a mandate from the Holy See. The Vatican noted that the ordination had taken place despite repeated warnings from Rome, and the ordination of a bishop without approval from the Holy See is grounds for automatic excommunication.

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  • Posted by: Defender - Jul. 12, 2012 5:26 PM ET USA

    Of course they're investigating, how could any reasonable person not believe that the state comes first and what they say needs to be obeyed? It may be some time before the bishop is heard from again or else the re-education program the Chinese government often employs will bring him around to see the error of his ways.

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