The Vatican had
called for a delay in the appointment over concerns that the bishop is
inexperienced and too closely aligned with China's communist regime.
Fr. Ma Yingling
was consecrated as bishop of Kunming at a ceremony Sunday in the
southwestern Yunnan province. He was shown on Hong Kong cable
television wearing a mitre and waving to crowds.
Chinese state-controlled church does not recognize the Vatican's power
to appoint bishops, many recent appointments had been approved by both
bishop of Hong Kong, Cardinal Joseph Zen, had called for the delay on
the Vatican’s behalf. He said the Vatican needed more time to assess
Fr. Ma’s qualifications, and said that ordination without Vatican
approval “would be deliberately wrecking China-Vatican negotiations,"
reported the BBC.
China has stated
repeatedly that relations with the Vatican could improve if the Holy
See cuts diplomatic relations with Taiwan.
state-sanctioned Catholic church has four million members, while the
unofficial church that is loyal to the Pope has 10 million members.
state-controlled Catholic church in China has ignored urging from the
Vatican and gone ahead with the consecration of a new bishop without
the Holy See’s approval.