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China cracks down on priests who opposed illicit episcopal ordination

July 30, 2012

Communist authorities in China are cracking down on the seven priests of the Diocese of Heilongjiang who opposed the ordination of Father Joseph Yue Fusheng to the episcopate.

The ordination, which took place without a pontifical mandate, resulted in Bishop Yue’s automatic excommunication. There are 37 priests who serve in the diocese, which is located in the northeastern part of the country.

The seven, who either refused to take part in the ceremony or made known their opposition, are banned from exercising their priestly ministry for three months and have been ordered by civil authorities to concelebrate with Bishop Yue or face additional consequences. Since the order was given, one priest has concelebrated with the excommunicated prelate.

Since the Communists assumed power in China in 1949, the diocese has had only two bishops: Bishop Peter Wang Ruihuan, who led the diocese from 1959 until his death in 1992, and Bishop Liu Huanbo, who led the diocese until his death in 1997. Neither received Vatican approval.


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  • Posted by: wolfdavef3415 - Jul. 30, 2012 11:20 PM ET USA

    Ahhh, yes. The fearful and brutal Chinese government. Totally powerless in the face of REAL love:

  • Posted by: Defender - Jul. 30, 2012 6:14 PM ET USA

    Over half a century and the Vatican's wishful thinking persists. It's obvious that there exists a core of Catholics in China (primarily from the underground Church) that have remained united with the pope. The state-sponsored church had no real interest in Catholicism until a few years ago when it decided that this was yet another way to control people. Can you imagine going to confession to a state-supported priest and what could happen to you afterwards?

  • Posted by: happyseaotter8027 - Jul. 30, 2012 5:42 PM ET USA

    I know that we are supposed to rejoice in our persecution, but I am finding it very difficult in this case. Dear God, please help the clergy in China and everywhere they are persecuted.