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Beijing shows no willingness to accept papal authority, says Cardinal Zen

December 09, 2016

The participation of an excommunicated bishop in the ordination of a new bishop last week was “a slap in the face of the Holy Father,” says Cardinal Joseph Zen, the retired Bishop of Hong Kong.

Cardinal Zen referred to the November 30 ordination of Bishop Joseph Tang Yuange for the Chengdu diocese. The ordination ceremony took place with approval of both the Vatican and the Holy See. But against the wishes of the faithful in Chengdu, Bishop Lei Shiyin of Leshan, who has been excommunicated after being appointed without a Vatican mandate, joined in the ceremony.

The determination of government officials to ensure the excommunicated bishop’s involvement shows that the Beijing regime is not ready to accept the Vatican’s authority to appoint bishops, Cardinal Zen said. “After such a long dialogue, they still show no kindness toward the authority of the Pope.”

The Chinese cardinal has consistently argued that the Vatican must not yield to Beijing’s demands for control over the appointment of new bishops.


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  • Posted by: jalsardl5053 - Dec. 09, 2016 7:33 PM ET USA

    Cardinal Zen knows whereof he speaks and he has repeatedly warned that Beijing has no intention of working with the Vatican. The excommunicated bishop is welcome to attend the ceremony as anyone else (presumably) but participation is an entirely different matter. I suspect it is a ploy by Beijing to keep a big foot in the door of bishopric appointments. Time will tell how it will go.