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  • » 07/04/2011, 00.00

    VATICAN - CHINA

    The Holy See condemns Leshan ordination

    Bernardo Cervellera

    In a statement made public today, the Vatican states that it does not recognize the new bishop, that he can not administer the diocese and is excommunicated. Voices in Leshan say that the new bishop has two children. The Vatican had informed some time ago that he could not be accepted as a candidate "for serious reasons”. Bishops who attended the ordination also warned. Fears that the government wants to create a de-facto schism, ordaining dozens of other bishops without papal mandate.
    Vatican City (AsiaNews) - The Holy See has come down strongly against the ordination of Fr Paul She Shiyin as bishop of Leshan (Sichuan), which took place June 29 last without the mandate of the Pope (see: 06/29/2011 Leshan: seven legitimate bishops take part in Episcopal ordination that had no papal mandate).

    A statement published today by the Press Office, declares that the newly ordained bishop "has no authority to govern the Catholic diocesan community", that the Holy See "will not recognize" him as bishop of Leshan, that he has incurred excommunication.

    It is also noted that the consecrating bishops (7, all in communion with the Pope), are also exposed to the possibility of excommunication, if they were not pressured by external forces to participate.

    The strongly worded and form statement, reiterates that "episcopal ordination without Papal mandate is directly opposed to the spiritual role of the Supreme Pontiff and damages the unity of the Church" and states: "The Leshan ordination was a unilateral act which sows division and unfortunately produces rifts and tensions in the Catholic community in China".

    The Leshan ordination is the first to occur after the Holy See had issued a statement about the excommunication incurred by those who participate - as candidates or as concelebrants – in an illicit ordination (see 13/06/2011 Illicit ordinations in China: the Holy See explains what is to be done with excommunicated bishops).

    The unusual severity of tone stems primarily from the fact that in this case, the candidate, Fr. She " had been informed, for some time, that he was unacceptable to the Holy See as an Episcopal candidate for proven and very grave reasons” - reads today’s statement. According to AsiaNews sources in Leshan, the priest is already the father of one or two children and is closely linked to the Patriotic Association: he is a member of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference, an advisory body to the Chinese parliament. He is vice-president of the Patriotic Association and was president of the PA for Sichuan.

    The other reason that explains the harshness of the statement is that the PA (and government) are planning dozens of other illicit ordinations creating a de-facto schism in the Chinese Church and frustrating the efforts made by Pope John Paul II and Benedict XVI to reconcile the official and underground church.

    The statement recalls that the Leshan ordination "has deeply saddened the Holy Father, who wishes to send to the beloved faithful in China a word of encouragement and hope, inviting them to prayer and unity."

    "The survival and development of the Church – it adds- can only take place in union with him to whom the Church herself is entrusted in the first place, and not without his consent as, however, occurred in Leshan. If it is desired that the Church in China be Catholic, the Church’s doctrine and discipline must be respected".

    Here below the full text of the Declaration:

    STATEMENT OF THE HOLY SEE:
    EPISCOPAL ORDINATION IN THE DIOCESE OF LESHAN
    (PROVINCE OF SICHUAN, MAINLAND CHINA)

    With regard to the episcopal ordination of the Rev. Paul Lei Shiyin, which took place on Wednesday 29 June last and was conferred without the apostolic mandate, the following is stated:

    1) Rev. Lei Shiyin, ordained without the Papal mandate and hence illegitimately, has no authority to govern the diocesan Catholic community, and the Holy See does not recognise him as the Bishop of the Diocese of Leshan. The effects of the sanction which he has incurred through violation of the norm of can. 1382 of the Code of Canon Law remain in place.
    The same Rev. Lei Shiyin had been informed, for some time, that he was unacceptable to the Holy See as an episcopal candidate for proven and very grave reasons.

    2) The consecrating Bishops have exposed themselves to the grave canonical sanctions laid down by the law of the Church (in particular, canon 1382 of the Code of Canon Law; cf. Declaration of the Pontifical Council for Legislative Texts of 6 June 2011).

    3) An episcopal ordination without Papal mandate is directly opposed to the spiritual role of the Supreme Pontiff and damages the unity of the Church. The Leshan ordination was a unilateral act which sows division and unfortunately produces rifts and tensions in the Catholic community in China. The survival and development of the Church can only take place in union with him to whom the Church herself is entrusted in the first place, and not without his consent as, however, occurred in Leshan. If it is desired that the Church in China be Catholic, the Church’s doctrine and discipline must be respected.

    4) The Leshan episcopal ordination has deeply saddened the Holy Father, who wishes to send to the beloved faithful in China a word of encouragement and hope, inviting them to prayer and unity.

    From the Vatican, 4 July 2011


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    See also

    06/07/2012 CHINA - VATICAN
    Harbin’s illicit ordination strengthens "excommunicated". Apostolic administrator released
    Joseph Yue Fusheng was ordained bishop of Heilongjiang by five bishops recognized by the Holy See. More and more "self-elected" bishops in the leadership of the Patriotic Association. Fr. Joseph Zhao and his curate were released immediately after the ordination ceremony. Harbin Catholics pray for Yue’s repentance.

    11/07/2011 CHINA - VATICAN
    Officials kidnap bishops of Guangdong to force them to take part in illicit Shantou ordination
    Three bishops were taken in the past two days: the bishop of Guangzhou has been missing for days. In Shenyang Mgr. Pei Junmin, designated to preside over the celebration, is being defended by his priests and faithful with a non-stop sit-in in the cathedral. PA claims the Vatican "divides the Church in China and creates more disputes."

    08/05/2006 CHINA - VATICAN
    Undergound bishops in China ask for prayers for official priests facing pressure and threats

    Following illicit ordinations – achieved through violence and deceit – the Patriotic Association subjects priests to political sessions and brainwashing to destroy their faithfulness to the pope.  AsiaNews supports the bishops' appeal.



    28/06/2012 CHINA - VATICAN
    Harbin’s illicit ordination delayed: Victory for "Faithfull’s prayers and fasting"
    The Episcopal ordination was to have taken place tomorrow, the Feast of St. Peter and Paul, as a "slap in the face to the Holy Father." Underground and official community united in prayers against the move. Voices warn the ordination only "postponed until next month." The United Front, which controls the Patriotic Associations, loses a supporter of Stalinist control over religions, Zhu Weiqun.

    08/07/2011 CHINA - VATICAN
    Liaoning priests rush to defense of bishop to prevent his participation in illegitimate ordination
    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.



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