Catholic World News

China planning illicit ordination of more bishops for 'official' Church?

January 26, 2015

The Chinese government’s bureau of religious affairs plans to organize the ordination of more Catholic bishops without Vatican approval in 2015, the AsiaNews service reports.

The move would deepen the conflict between Beijing and Rome, and set back prospects for unity in the Chinese Church, which is torn between the 'official' Church recognized by the government and the 'underground' Church loyal to the Holy See. The ordination of a bishop without approval from the Holy See is illicit and brings the penalty of excommunication.

The Vatican has announced that bishops who are ordained without the Pope’s approval, and all others who participate in the consecration, are excommunicated. The situation is complicated, however, by evidence that some bishops who are loyal to Rome have been forced to attend these ceremonies.

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