» 07/08/2011 15:09 CHINA - VATICAN Liaoning priests rush to defense of bishop to prevent his participation in illegitimate ordination by Jian Mei Bishop Pei Junmin received an order to attend the Episcopal ordination in Shantou on 14 July. The candidate has no papal mandate. His priests are defending him from forced deportation.
Shenyang (AsiaNews) - The priests of the Diocese of Liaoning gathered today in the house of the bishop of Shenyang to protect him from being forcibly deported. The bishop, Mgr. Paul Pei Junmin, it was in fact ordered to go to ordain Fr. Joseph Huang Bingzhang in Shantou on 14 July, in an ordination without papal mandate. It is possible that Mgr. Pei will be dragged by force to attend.
Some sources also cite the 15 or July 17 as the date of the ordination. If it occurs, it will be the first case after the latest statement from the Holy See on excommunications related to the Leshan ordination of June 29 (7/4/2011 The Holy See condemns Leshan ordination).
The government's pressure on bishops in China is very strong. Another young bishop, who preferred anonymity, told AsiaNews that he feels tired, like "having a stone on his chest", especially in having to cope with an increasing number of illegitimate ordinations. "I live in fear and trepidation every day - he said - of receiving the order to participate. I'm really exhausted, "
Today the priests of Liaoning spread a message asking for prayers for their dioceses facing unprecedented difficulties, including the fact that their bishop is forced to participate in the illegal ordination of Fr Huang, who was elected last May 11.
All the priests of the diocese gathered in the bishop's house for an emergency meeting and to discuss the problem. They have signed a joint declaration criticizing the Chinese authorities for forcing their bishop to attend the Shantou ordination.
At the moment they are protecting the bishop from being taken away by force by government authorities. The statement also explains that the priests hope the Lord will give the government authorities the sufficient grace to recognize the truth.