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Chinese priest ordained as ‘underground’ bishop without Vatican approval

October 10, 2016

A Chinese priest has been ordained as a bishop without approval from either the Vatican or the Chinese government, adding a new complication to efforts to unify the Church.

Father Dong Guan Hua arranged to be ordained by an elderly Chinese bishop—Bishop Casimirus Wang Milu, described by Vatican Insider as “mentally unstable”—in defiance of Bishop Julius Jia Zhiguo of Zhengding. In fact Bishop Jia had excommunicated Dong because of his past activities, even before his episcopal ordination. (A priest who is ordained as a bishop without Vatican approval is automatically excommunicated.)

Bishop Jia is a leader of the “underground” Church, who has been has been jailed repeatedly; his movements are constantly watched and often thwarted by government officials. But when Bishop Jia voiced his support for Vatican efforts to reach agreement with Beijing, and unify the Catholic Church in China, Father Dong strongly objected, and decided to set himself up as a rival Bishop of Zhengding.

 
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