Again in Xichang, as in Chengdu, police deployed to ensure the participation of the excommunicated Bishop Lei Shiyin. Comment: "Chinese bishops are spineless." The Diocese of Xichang is formed by 35 thousand faithful and 10 priests. Its sisters run a leper colony.
Xichang (AsiaNews) - A "quiet" episcopal ordination took place today in Xichang, in the far south of Sichuan. It was the consecration of Bishop Lei Jiapei as bishop of the diocese, the first after 17 years. The last Bishop was Msgr. Xie Chaogang, who died in 1999. Since then, Fr. Lei Jiapei was the diocesan administrator.
The ceremony was very similar to that which took place two days ago in Chengdu (Sichuan), with almost the same bishops. Msgr. Fang Xingyao of Linyi (Shandong) presided, the presence of six other bishops among whom there was the newly ordained Bishop Tang Yuange of Chengdu, Msgr. Luo Xuegang in Yibin, Msgr. He Zeqing Wanzhou, Msgr. Chen Gongao Nanchong; Msgr. Xiao Zejiang Guizhou, and the illegitimate bishop Msgr. Lei Shiyin of Leshan.
Unlike what happened two days ago in Chengdu - where the faithful objected to his presence, and even attempted to bar his entry into the Church holding banners that recalled his excommunication and asked him not to participate in the liturgy - today everything was "quiet". It is also true that information emerging from Xichang is very patchy and the presence of policemen in plain clothes and in uniform was evident.
The Chengdu ordination attracted many comments on the web. So far none of the Xichang faithful have not made any remarks. On the other hand, Fr. Peter (Duo Bo Shen Fu), blogger priest, has posted a commentary on today’s liturgy: "The Chinese bishops today are no longer a symbol of holiness, but they are like the side elements, the animals without a backbone. This is the tragedy of the Chinese Catholic Church. "
The latest available statistics show that the diocese of Xichang includes about 35 thousand Catholics, 11 churches and six chapels. The population is served by 10 priests and 25 nuns. There are also religious who run a leper colony near Panzhihua, near the border with Yunnan.