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» 11/27/2006 11:45
CHINA - VATICAN
Jiangsu: a new bishop to be ordained without Holy See approval
The ordination is to take place November 30.  The candidate was chosen with the "democratic method" for his meekness toward the government.  The Vatican is dismayed and asks what interest China has in going toward a new crisis.

Rome (AsiaNews) – An illicit episcopal ordination, i.e. without the Holy See's approval, will take place in the city of Xuzhou (in the Jiangsu region of eastern-central China) next November 30.  It would seem that this new ordination puts an end to the "truce" established a few months ago between China and the Vatican.

Local sources of Xuzhou have confirmed to AsiaNews that on November 30 at 8 a.m., Fr Wang Renlei, Vicar General of the diocese, will be ordained bishop in a ceremony led by the diocese's current bishop, Monsignor Qian Yurong.  This is one of the few bishops of the official Church who has not sought reconciliation with the Pope and is thus not in communion with the Holy See; he is well known for his pro-government positions.  The episcopal candidate, Fr Wang, was ordained to the priesthood in 1996 and is known as an easy-going person who is very timid toward the government.

AsiaNews sources say that Wang was elected more than a week ago according to the "democratic method", in a meeting which took place in one of the city's hotels.  The 8 priests of the diocese would have opted for a priest who is more determined and courageous in defending Church freedom, but "everything had already be decided beforehand by the officials of the Religious Affairs Bureau."

Yesterday, Sunday, during mass at the Cathedral, Catholics of Xuzhou were invited to the illicit ordination.  All those who want to take part in the rite must register as room is limited to about 500 people.

Unverified rumours say that two other bishops will arrive "from Beijing" to take part in the ceremony.  Also according to rumours, government authorities have promised to give the diocese 6 million yuan (about 600,000 euros) to cover costs for the ordination.  This considerable sum – enormous for a diocese of 20,000 members – will perhaps be used for other expenses in the diocese.

Vatican figures are "dismayed" by the news, which risks becoming a fatal blow to dialogue between the Holy See and China.

Several months ago, the Patriotic Association and the Religious Affairs Bureau carried out a series of ordinations without the Holy See's permission.  The Vatican harshly criticized the gesture as "a serious violation of religious freedom."  The wave of international criticism against China's gesture and the visit of a Vatican delegation to Beijing last June seemed to have defused the crisis.

Vatican figures told AsiaNews that they hope the "ordination is cancelled.  What interest can the Chinese government have in going through with this new gesture of offence against the Pope and the Church?"

According to AsiaNews sources, the Patriotic Association is trying to ordain dozens of bishops without the approval of the Holy See, for the purpose of destroying all the work of reconciliation carried out so far between the Chinese Church and the Pope.  More than 80% of Chinese bishops of the official Church are, at this point, reconciled with the Pope.

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See also
07/21/2006 CHINA - VATICAN
Beijing will stop illicit ordinations
05/09/2006 VATICAN - CHINA
Card. Zen: Chinese government is mistaken; all in China want to be led by pope
01/18/2007 VATICAN - CHINA
Meeting at Vatican on the Church in China
by Bernardo Cervellera
11/02/2010 CHINA
New bishop of Nanchang (Jiangxi) ordained, underground Catholics also present
by Zhen Yuan
06/01/2006 VATICAN - CHINA
Card. Zen: Government told Patriotic Association to stop illicit ordinations

Editor's choices
VATICAN
Pope announces a 'festival of forgiveness' for 28-29 March in St Peter's Basilica and churches around the worldPope Francis made the announcement after today's Angelus. "We must celebrate the forgiveness the Lord gives us as did the father in the parable of the prodigal son, who, when the latter returned, organised a party, putting out of his mind all the things the son had done." When Jesus met the woman of Samaria, he "tore through the biased mind-set against women." The pontiff also called on the pilgrims to say, "Every encounter with Jesus changes one's life; every encounter with Jesus fills us with joy." He also sent his greetings to a Japanese school.
CHINA-VATICAN
Msgr. Fan Zhongliang's funeral attended by 5,000 priests and faithful from the official and underground Churches
by Jian MeiMsgr. Ma Daqin, who is under house arrest, was absent. In the liturgy the priests referred to him as "our Bishop Ma Daqin". During the celebration and prayers, Msgr Fan was also referred to as a "bishop", although the government prohibits the use of this term for a non recognized prelate. During the service, red vestments were used, "a sign of martyrdom". Hope for the unity of the Church in China is growing.
VATICAN - CHINA
Bishop Fan Zhongliang: Better broken jade than intact tile
by Msgr Savio Hon TaifaiThe Secretary of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples publishes a eulogy for the Bishop of Shanghai who died on March 16, on AsiaNews. A witness faithful to the Pope and the Chinese nation. As a sign of reconciliation and harmony, his funeral should be celebrated by Msgr. Ma Daqin, currently under house arrest.

Dossier
by Giulio Aleni / (a cura di) Gianni Criveller
pp. 176
by Lazzarotto Angelo S.
pp. 528
by Bernardo Cervellera
pp. 240
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