"Patriotic" ceremony for the new bishop of Changsha
Changsha (AsiaNews) - Fr. Qu
Ailin has been ordained bishop of Changsha (Hunan). The ceremony was
held this morning at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in the presence
of more than 25 priests and 200 faithful. Although the candidate was recognized
by the Vatican and the government, the function had a overtly "patriotic"
flavor, more in line with government demnds than the canonical requirements of
the to Church Catholic. In fact the
excommunicated bishop, Msgr. Liu Xinhong, Wuhu (Anhui) participated in the
ceremony, and another bishop whose position with the Holy See is dubious, the Archbishop
of Beijing, Mgr. Joseph Li Shan, who was the principal ordaining bishop.
For some time the Vatican continues to insist that Episcopal ordinations take place respecting the faith of the Catholic Church, with the exclusion of the bishops not in communion with the Holy See. But the government and the Patriotic Association continues to claim independence and autonomy from the Pope, ordaining pastors without pontifical mandate and forcing bishops in communion with him to participate in ceremonies alongside excommunicated bishops.
The Archbishop of Beijing, Msgr. Li Shan, who became vice-president of the council of Chinese bishops in 2010, has participated in some illicit Episcopal ordinations and from what we know has not yet clarified his position with the Holy See.
Even more problematic is the presence of Mgr. Liu Xinhong, bishop of Wuhu (Anhui), who was ordained without papal mandate and was excommunicated in 2006 (see: 03/05/2006 New bishop ordained in Anhui without Pope's permission).
The ceremony was also attended by other bishops: Msgr. John Lu Peisen Yanzhou (Shandong), Msgr. Paul Liang Jiansen of Jiangmen (Guangdong), Msgr. Tan Yanquan of Nanning (Guangxi), Msgr. Li Suguang, coadjutor bishop of Jiangxi.
The Diocese of Changsha has about 80 thousand Catholics, of whom 20 thousand in the city. The fact that the ceremony only 200 faithful present is a sign of malaise among the faithful in enduring the interference of the government and the Patriotic Association in strictly religious ceremonies, an example of violence against religious freedom.
On the other hand, Liu Yuanlong, vice president of the Patriotic Association was present, who brought the message of the United Front and the State Administration for Religious Affairs. Also present were other provincial personalities and officials of the United Front and Religious Affairs.
In public, the new bishop had sworn to serve the Church and the nation, helping priests, nuns and faithful to "respect the national laws, safeguard national unity, social stability and unity, to promote economic development in Hunan, cultural prosperity and social harmony. "
The newly ordained was born in 1961 in Henyang (Hunan) and was ordained priest in 1995. He is deputy director of the Patriotic Association of Hunan Province and a member of the People's Political Consultative Conference in the city of Henyang.