18 December 2017
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  • » 11/30/2016, 15.03


    Chengdu, excommunicated bishop, defended by police, took part in Episcopal ordination of Msgr. Joseph Tang Yuange

    Wang Xiang

    A banner - then taken away by police - condemned the presence of Msgr. Lei Shiyin, the excommunicated bishop. A sister tried to stop him before he entered the church, but the bishop was defended by police. The ceremony took place in the Ping'an Qiao church (Bridge of Peace). A demonstration of "who controls the Church in China".

    Chengdu (AsiaNews) - An excommunicated bishop, Msgr. Lei  Shiyin of Leshan (Sichuan), aided by the police, attended the episcopal ordination of Msgr. Joseph Tang Yuange as bishop of Chengdu, the capital of Sichuan (central China). The faithful have demonstrated their disapproval in many ways.

    The ceremony was presided over by Msgr. Fang Xingyao of Linyi (Shandong); the other two co-ordaining bishops were Mgr. Luo Xuegang from Yibin and Msgr. He Zeqing of Wanzhou.

    Three other three bishops also took part: Msgr. Chen Gongao of Nanchong; Msgr. Xiao Zejiang Guizhou and Msgr. Lei Shiyin of Leshan. All these bishops are recognized by the Chinese government. And all have been approved by the Holy See, with the exception of Msgr. Lei. Even Msgr. Fang Xingyao, despite being heavily criticized for his views very close to those of the political authorities, is recognized by the Vatican.

    Many faithful attempted in various ways to prevent Msgr. Lei’s participation in the ceremony. Sources have told AsiaNews that a nun tried to stop him before he entered the church, but police protected him and he gained access to the Ping'an Qiao church where the ordination took place.

    The church itself was surrounded by several security policemen guarding against possible unrest.

    Catholics have posted a photo on social media showing a banner (see photo 1) protesting the presence of Lei Shiyin at the ordination. According to AsiaNews sources the banner was exposed for several hours before and after Sunday Mass on the morning of 27 November, but the police then proceeded to remove it.

    The banner, is signed by "the faithful of the Catholic church of Ping'an Qiao (Bridge of Peace)" and says: "In compliance with Canon 1382 of the Code of Canon Law, we strongly oppose Lei Shiyin, who has been automatically excommunicated [latae sententiae], for coming to our church to take part in the concelebration of the liturgy of episcopal ordination”.

    Lei Shiyin was ordained without papal mandate in 2011. At present he is the subject of heated debate and even accused of having a mistress and children. Some Catholics fear that he will also be present the ordination of the new bishop of Xichang, in Sichuan to be held on 2 December.

    According to some members, the presence of Mgr. Lei, "was commissioned by the government to show the Vatican who commands the Church in China".

    Msgr. Tang, 53, was appointed bishop of Chengdu in May 2014. A native of Sichuan, he studied in the regional seminary. Ordained a priest in April 1991, he has always served in the diocese of Chengdu.

    The Church of Chengdu has 20 priests, nine nuns and a seminarian, serving a community of about 100 thousand Catholics.

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    See also

    01/12/2016 11:32:00 CHINA - VATICAN
    Ankang and Chengdu ordinations: "Faith is not dead”. “Kowtow diplomacy" a failure

    Initial reactions to the episcopal ordinations which took place yesterday. Ankang ceremony took place in a calm manner, with many bishops present, with older women who were photographed next to their new pastor. In Chengdu, the presence of an illegitimate bishop - criticized by the faithful - has turned the sacrament into a battlefield with controls and police imposing the presence of an excommunicated bishop.


    02/12/2016 16:24:00 CHINA - VATICAN
    A "quiet" ordination with an illegitimate bishop in Xichang

    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.

    04/11/2016 16:14:00 CHINA – VATICAN
    Episcopal appointments: the pope’s big gift to the Chinese Church?

    A priest from the official (state-approved) Church speaks about the news that the signing of agreement between China and the Vatican is “imminent”, that the legitimisation of excommunicated bishops is “imminent”, and that the right to appoint bishops will soon pass into Beijing’s hands (or rather those of the Council of Chinese bishops, which is not recognised by the Holy See). “Some have said that the negotiations between China and the Vatican have come at the expense of the underground Church. In fact, if the pope grants Beijing the right to appoint bishops, then the entire Church in China will be sacrificed." Writing under the name of ‘hermit priest,’ the author of this piece is a well known blogger from northern China.

    24/10/2016 12:39:00 VATICAN - CHINA
    The new bishop of Changzhi and the many voices on China-Vatican dialogue

    The ordination will take place on November 10 in the Cathedral. The bishop had been appointed by the Holy See at least two years ago. But he was waiting for the green light from Beijing. Similar situation in Chengdu. Fears for the presence of excommunicated bishops. Reconciliation between illegitimate and official bishops is not brought about by political gestures, but depends on personal and canonical procedures. A meeting between the Chinese delegation and the Vatican is not "imminent".


    07/11/2016 12:19:00 VATICAN - CHINA
    The "despair" of the underground Church before China-Vatican dialogue

    The faithful of the underground Church are frustrated by the Holy See’s “overlooking” them. There have been no underground bishops, but only apostolic administrators, for almost 20 years. In the eyes of the faithful, this decision is a kind of death sentence for their communities. "Embraces", meetings and souvenir photos with the pope for officials; no meetings or blessings for underground priests, and bishops. The question of registration to the Patriotic Association. An official bishop: "We are all puppets. We just do what they tell us to do". A double defeat for the Vatican and China.


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