.- The Vatican Secretary of State, Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, called the ordination of a Chinese bishop without the authorization of the Holy See as an "accident in the road" which does not help relations with China.
According to the Italian news agency, ANSA, Cardinal Bertone thinks the informal conversations between the Vatican and China will continue, “but the road to arriving at diplomatic relations is not nearby" and the controversial ordination is "an act that slows down and does not encourage good relations."
Yesterday, the Holy See’s press office issued a communiqué stating, Pope Benedict XVI has received with "deep sadness" the news of the ordination of Chinese priest Juan Wang Renlei without Papal mandate.
Last Thursday, November 30th, the 36-year-old priest was consecrated bishop of the Diocese of Xuzhou, a province of Jiangsu, in mainland China, under the pressures of the Office of Religious Matters and of the Patriotic Catholic Association, which obeys the guidelines of the Chinese communist government and he does not recognize the authority of the Holy See.
“The Holy Father learned the news with great sadness, because this episcopal ordination was conferred without the pontifical mandate, in other words without respecting the discipline of the Catholic Church concerning the appointment of bishops,” states the text of the communiqué.
Wang Renlei is the third bishop this year who was consecrated without the approval of the Holy See. Last April, Beijing approved the ordination of Joseph Ma Yinglin as the bishop of Yunnan and in May, Liu Xinhong as bishop of Anhui, both decisions are considered by the Vatican "illegitimate" and "a serious violation to religious freedom."