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    » 06/07/2011, 00.00

    CHINA – VATICAN

    Unlawful ordination of Hankou bishop postponed to unspecified date

    Jian Mei

    A local priest tells AsiaNews that the ordination was postponed without explanation or a new date set. Local Catholics can now breathe a sigh of relief. The secretary of the Congregation for the Evangelisation of Peoples had expressed concern over the possible unlawful ordination.
    Beijing (AsiaNews) – The unlawful ordination of Fr Shen Guoan as bishop of Hankou was postponed to an unspecified future date. It had been set to take place this Friday.

    A local priest today told AsiaNews that the ordination was postponed with explanations or a new date. Another priest in a neighbouring province confirmed the information, adding that he was told about the change last Friday or Saturday. Catholics in Hankou said they hoped this “unlawful ordination would not occur in their diocese.”

    Anthony Liu Bainian, honorary chairman of the Chinese Patriotic Catholic Association, had recently threatened to go ahead with unlawful ordinations. He had told the Vatican “not to interfere in the work of self-elected and self-managed bishops,” a statement seen by many as a challenge and a threat against the Holy See whereby more bishops would be ordained without the papal mandate.

    Mgr Savio Hon, secretary of the Congregation for the Evangelisation of Peoples, on Friday had expressed his concern for the possible unlawful ordination in Hankou in an interview with AsiaNews.

     “I am concerned about the report. The pope is concerned as well, as is the Church of China as a whole. From what I know, the faithful in Hankou have reacted by pleading with the government and the Chinese Patriotic Catholic Association (CPCA), citing the Code of Canon Law, not to carry out this ordination.”

    It would appear,” he added, “that the candidate, Fr Shen Guoan, is against it, too. Sadly, at present we do not know what the candidate actually thinks. However, from brother to brother, I want to tell Fr Shen, ‘I trust you to act the right way. The only right thing to do is to refuse’.”

    On 18 May, The pope had urged the faithful around the world to pray so that Chinese bishops’ “desire to stay in the one and Universal Church” would “overcome the temptation to take a path independent of Peter.”

    On that occasion, the pope had also called for prayers for the Church in China, to “enlighten those who are in doubt, recall those who are lost, comfort the afflicted, strengthen those who are ensnared by the false flattery of opportunism”.

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    See also

    24/11/2010 VATICAN – CHINA
    Vatican shows courage as Hu Jintao is held in check
    The world’s second largest economy still relies on feudal practices worthy of the Middle Ages. Its religious policy is in the hands of one man, Liu Bainian, whose action is a throwback to Mao Zedong’s time. The new bishop’s destiny is one of isolation among Christians who reject him.

    04/05/2006 CHINA – VATICAN
    A sigh of relief among Chinese Catholics after Vatican issues statement on illegitimate ordinations
    Issue had to be clear. Bishops and priests from the 'official' Church refused to take part in the ordinations imposed by the Patriotic Association. Some clergymen are calling for the appointment of apostolic administrators in dioceses like Beijing' now under illegitimate bishops.

    29/11/2006 CHINA – VATICAN
    Bishops loyal to the Pope detained, forced to take part in unlawful ordination
    Bishops who refuse to disobey the Holy See are forced by hook and crook to take part in unlawful ordinations. The latest candidate to the bishopric is in complete isolation and cannot even be reached by phone. Government is promising huge sums of money for bishops ordinations but then fails to pay up.

    14/07/2011 CHINA – VATICAN
    Eight bishops in communion with the pope forced to take part in illegitimate ordination in Shantou
    This is the first ordination since the illegitimate bishop of Leshan was officially excommunicated. About 1,500 people (out of 140,000) took part in the ceremony. Some participating bishops say they were forced to participate. Required to attend, Mgr Pei Junmin was able to stay away thanks to his priests.

    08/07/2011 CHINA – VATICAN
    Tensions and fears in China about new Episcopal ordination without papal mandate
    Fr Joseph Huang Bingzhang, who is politically connected and ambitious, is the candidate. The Holy See told him on several occasions that it was opposed to his ordination. The Chinese Patriotic Catholic Association plans more unlawful ordinations.



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