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» 04/24/2012 17:15
CHINA - VATICAN
Changsha's new bishop ordained tomorrow
by Wang Zhicheng
The Vatican and the government recognise 51-year-old Qu Ailin. Doubts surround the celebrating prelate, the bishop of Beijing, as to whether he is excommunicated or reconciled with the Holy See. The main celebrant might change at the last moment.

Beijing (AsiaNews) - The diocese of Changsha (Hunan) will have a new bishop tomorrow when Fr Timothy Methodius Qu Ailin will be ordained in the city's Cathedral of Immaculate Conception. The 51-year-old has been approved by the Holy See and the Chinese government. Mgr Joseph Li Shan, bishop of Beijing, will be the main celebrant, sources say.

Some of the faithful have objected to Mgr Li's participation. Since he became the vice president of the government-sanctioned Bishops' Conference, he has participated in unlawful Episcopal ordinations and has not clarified his position with the Holy See.

In 2010 and 2011, three ordinations were carried out with papal mandate. A number of bishops have been forced to participate in such ceremonies. In the meantime, the Vatican has set guidelines to follow to avoid possible excommunication and protect believers' faith. They include a request for forgiveness and a public show of repentance by the bishop. So far, it is not known whether Mgr Li has done either of these.

In his diocese, some of the faithful have come to his defence by highlighting his predicament. Not only does he operate in the centre of power, he is also under pressure and the watchful eye of the Catholic Patriotic Chinese Association, with the possibility of seeing funds for diocesan works cut off.

Some China watchers are saying that given Mgr Li's situation, someone else is likely to preside over tomorrow's ceremony.

The province of Hunan in southern China has four dioceses (Changsha, Changde, Lizhou and Yuanling) and five apostolic prefectures (Baojing, Lingling, Lixian, Xiangtan and Yueyang).

Government authorities restructured them into six dioceses in 1991, and merged them into a single Hunan diocese in 1999.

About 20 priests serve 70,000 Catholics in the province, which has been without a bishop for 12 years, following the death of Bishop Simon Qu Tianxi of Changsha in 2000.

The ordination of the new bishop coincides with the conclusion of the meeting of the Vatican Commission on the Church in China.

 


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See also
07/04/2011 VATICAN - CHINA
The Holy See condemns Leshan ordination
by Bernardo Cervellera
05/20/2011 CHINA - VATICAN
New bishop of Yanzhou ordained with Holy See approval
by Jian Mei
09/16/2010 CHINA - VATICAN
New coadjutor bishop of Taiyuan
by Zhen Yuan
05/16/2011 CHINA - VATICAN
Patriotic Association threatens 10 episcopal ordinations without papal mandate
by Paul Wang
11/25/2010 CHINA - VATICAN
Chinese Church "wounded" by illicit ordination, united with Pope
by Anonimo ("Pace")

Editor's choices
SYRIA
I will miss you Fr Frans, you inspired us all, says Syrian Jesuit
by Tony Homsy*A young priest from the Society of Jesus remembers the life and work of Fr Frans van der Lugt, who was killed in Homs after he refused to abandon residents beleaguered by hunger and war. "He gave and continues to give everything for the Church, Syria, and peace. His story and qualities made him an exceptional missionary and witness to the Gospel." Reprinted courtesy of 'The Jesuit Post'.
FRANCE - IRAQ
Chaldean Patriarch on the uncertain future of eastern Christians, a bridge between the West and Islam
by Mar Louis Raphael I SakoThe wars in Iraq, Libya and Afghanistan have made things worse for their peoples, especially minorities. As Western policies have been a failure, fundamentalism has grown with the Arab Spring losing out to extremism. Muslim authorities have a role in protecting rights and religious freedom. The presence of Christians in the Middle East is crucial for Muslims.
CHINA - EUROPEAN UNION
Xi Jinping returns home full of deals and silence
by Bernardo CervelleraThe Chinese president signed agreements worth tens of billions of Euros in France, Germany, the Netherlands, and Belgium. He also stayed clear of any press conference. At the College of Europe in Bruges, he presented his dream of a new trillion-dollar Silk Road. Yet, he also made it clear that at home, the monopoly of power stays with the Party, squashing any dream for political reform in China. On the Internet, netizens disagree with him.

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