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    » 07/16/2011, 00.00

    VATICAN - CHINA

    Holy See condemns illegal Bishop of Shantou, appreciates "resistance" of bishops and faithful

    Bernardo Cervellera

    Fr. Joseph Huang Bingzhang is publicly excommunicated. Many times, the Vatican had said he could not become a bishop. Appreciation for bishops, priests and faithful who have resisted participating in the ceremony. Fears of government revenge: a appeal to AsiaNews. The Pope’s sorrow and the right of Catholics to freedom
    Vatican (AsiaNews) - The Pope’s sorrow at how "the Church in China is being treated", the excommunication of Fr Joseph Huang Bingzhang, ordained bishop of Shantou (Guangdong) without a mandate and the Holy See's appreciation for all the faithful and the bishops who have " had expressed their unwillingness to take part in an illicit ordination and also offered various forms of resistance" to pressure from the government: they are the highlights of the Holy See statement published today regarding the Episcopal ordination of July 14 last (see 14/07/2011 Eight bishops in communion with the pope forced to take part in illegitimate ordination in Shantou).

    In a terse and laconic fashion the excommunication of the ordained bishop is rendered public, because he " had been informed some time ago that he could not be approved by the Holy See as an episcopal candidate. Reverend Huang had been asked on numerous occasions not to accept episcopal ordination".

    At the same time it emphasizes and appreciates the "resistance" put up by the bishops and faithful to avoid being dragged to take part in the illicit ordination. The bishops of Guangdong were seized and taken by force (see 11/07/2011 Officials kidnap bishops of Guangdong to force them to take part in illicit Shantou ordination); Mgr. Pei Junmin, designated as chief celebrant, was saved from being “kidnapped” thanks to the perpetual prayer of his priests and faithful protected him (07/08/2011 Liaoning priests rush to defense of bishop to prevent his participation in illegitimate ordination).

    The fear of many believers is that the government could lash out against them by putting them in solitary confinement and forcing them to months of brainwashing on the "goodness" of China's policy toward religion. AsiaNews has received an appeal on their part where they ask for our prayers and support.

    The declaration of the Holy See once again claims " the right of Chinese Catholics to be able to act freely, following their consciences and remaining faithful to the Successor of Peter and in communion with the universal Church".

    Below the full text of the statement:

    Holy See Statement on Episcopal Ordination in the Diocese of Shantou


    The following clarifications are issued with reference to the episcopal ordination of the Reverend Joseph Huang Bingzhang which took place on Thursday, 14 July 2011:

    1) The Reverend Joseph Huang Bingzhang, having been ordained without papal mandate and hence illicitly, has incurred the sanctions laid down by canon 1382 of the Code of Canon Law. Consequently, the Holy See does not recognize him as Bishop of the Diocese of Shantou, and he lacks authority to govern the Catholic community of the Diocese.

    The Reverend Huang Bingzhang had been informed some time ago that he could not be approved by the Holy See as an episcopal candidate, inasmuch as the Diocese of Shantou already has a legitimate Bishop; Reverend Huang had been asked on numerous occasions not to accept episcopal ordination.

    2) From various sources the Holy See had knowledge of the fact that some Bishops, contacted by the civil authorities, had expressed their unwillingness to take part in an illicit ordination and also offered various forms of resistance, yet were reportedly obliged to take part in the ordination.

    With regard to this resistance, it should be noted that it is meritorious before God and calls for appreciation on the part of the whole Church. Equal appreciation is also due to those priests, consecrated persons and members of the faithful who have defended their pastors, accompanying them by their prayers at this difficult time and sharing in their deep suffering.

    3) The Holy See reaffirms the right of Chinese Catholics to be able to act freely, following their consciences and remaining faithful to the Successor of Peter and in communion with the universal Church.

    The Holy Father, having learned of these events, once again deplores the manner in which the Church in China is being treated and hopes that the present difficulties can be overcome as soon as posssible.


    From the Vatican, 16 July 2011

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    See also

    16/05/2011 CHINA - VATICAN
    Patriotic Association threatens 10 episcopal ordinations without papal mandate
    This was declared by Anthony Liu Bainian, honorary president of the PA. On May 11 there was an election of Bishops in Shantou (Guangdong) with a single candidate, linked to the Communist Party to oust the bishop of the diocese, approved by the Holy See.

    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."

    25/03/2011 CHINA-VATICAN
    Beijing and the Holy See: the unity of the Church before diplomatic relations
    From December until today, despite many difficulties the Church in China has been trying to rebuild the path to unity between official and underground Catholics, dealt a severe blow by Communist Party strategies. The idea of the "Vietnam model". But Beijing’s fear of the "Jasmine Revolution" seems to prevail over interests in seeing reconciliation with the Church and society.

    18/07/2011 CHINA - VATICAN
    Chinese Church "resists" excessive power of Government and Patriotic Association
    Faithful and priests have stopped the "kidnapping" of Msgr. Pei, designated to preside over the illicit ordination of Shantou. Yesterday in the dioceses of Guangdong the declaration of the Holy See was issued, greeted by applause. For months Harbin priests have resisted the illicit ordination of bishop. Members of the underground Church are asking the Vatican to proceed with the ordination of bishops for their communities.

    26/04/2012 VATICAN - CHINA
    The Church in China needs formed laity and "good bishops"
    The communiqué following the meeting of the Vatican Commission. "Admiration" for bishops and priests detained or limited. The claim of "bodies" to "place themselves above the bishops. Illegitimate episcopal ordinations and legitimate bishops participation in them.



    Editor's choices

    CHINA - VATICAN
    Vatican silence over Shanghai’s Mgr Ma Daqin causing confusion and controversy

    Bernardo Cervellera

    For some, Mgr Ma’s blog post praising the Patriotic Association and acknowledging his mistakes is nothing but “dirt”. For others, he chose humiliation for the “sake of his diocese”. Many wonder why the Holy See has remained silent about the article’s content and the bishop’s persecution. Some suspect the Vatican views the episode in positive terms. Yet, the Ma Daqin affair raises a major question. Has Benedict XVI’s Letter to Chinese Catholics (which describes the Patriotic Association as “incompatible with Catholic doctrine”) been abolished? If it has, who did it? A journey of compromises without truth is full of risks.


    CHINA – VATICAN
    Mgr Ma Daqin: the text of his “confession”

    Mons. Taddeo Ma Daqin

    Four years after quitting the Chinese Patriotic Catholic Association, the bishop of Shanghai “admits” his faults on his blog, praising the organisation that controls the Church. We publish his article, almost in its entirety. Translation by AsiaNews.


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