cathedral was packed for the ordination of the new auxiliary bishop,
Pei Junmin, 36, who was trained in Philadelphia. Several U.S. and other
foreign guests also attended. During the ceremony, part of the decree
from the Pope approving the consecration was read in Latin, reported
the New York Times.
of a new auxiliary bishop for the Diocese of Shenyang came three days
after Pope Benedict XVI sharply rebuked China for consecrating two
bishops in the past eight days without Vatican approval.
over the weekend by describing the Pope's criticism as "unfounded" and
defending the ordinations as within the bounds of the government,
reported the Times.
Ministry spokesman Liu Jianchao said in a statement that the Chinese
government “is always sincere and has made unremitting efforts in
improving its ties with the Vatican,” others in the Church believe the
actions are a huge step backward in reconciliation between China and
the Vatican. Diplomatic ties were broken 55 years ago.
Benedict has made normalization of relations a priority, the issue of
appointing bishops has become a major stumbling block.
years, an understanding has existed between the Vatican and Beijing
under which candidates for bishops have been vetted by both sides.
Since 2004, at least five bishops have been approved with such consent.
Vermander, an expert on China-Vatican relations at the Ricci Institute,
a Jesuit-led organization in Taipei, Taiwan, told the Times that the
recent happenings were indicative of some internal disunity within
Catholic bishop was ordained in China Sunday — the third in eight days—
in a ceremony that was approved by the Vatican, unlike the
controversial first two, which, the Vatican said could result in a
series of excommunications.