Cable TV showed Liu, dressed in a yellow robe, bowing his head to
receive a yellow head piece from a clergyman. "My feeling at this
moment is to thank the Lord and our God from the depth of my heart," he
said, addressing the congregation.
in Anhui belong to the underground Church and refuse to join the open,
state-sanctioned church. However, an "underground" lay leader in Anhui
who asked not to be named, told Asian Catholic news agency UCAN on May
2 that his community, as well as many "open Church" Catholics, “will
not accept a bishop without papal approval,” adding that “such an
ordination will harm Church efforts in evangelization and
The underground Catholics are mainly spread in the northern and northwestern part of Anhui province, according to the layman.
disclosed that public security officers have already tightened control
on his group and others warning Catholics “not to create trouble." For
this reason, he said, he and several other lay leaders have left home
for a few days to avoid government control.
underground Church leader told UCAN that the upcoming ordination
“openly confronts the Holy See and damages the hierarchy of the
universal Church.” This same Catholic said that in defying the order of
the Holy See, Father Liu would not gain the support of local Catholics.
Anhui has been
without a bishop since Bishop Joseph Zhu Huayu of Bengbu—part of the
state-run church--died at 86 in February 2005. The state church
combined the province's three dioceses -- Anqing, Bengbu and Wuhu - to
form Anhui diocese on July 3, 2001, but the Holy See still regards them
as separate dioceses.
On Sunday, China's state church ordained Ma Yinglin as bishop of the southwestern province of Yunnan.
Catholics are only allowed to worship in government-controlled
churches, but an estimated 10 million are loyal to the Vatican. Formal
Sino-Vatican ties would give some security to China's Vatican
loyalists, who are frequently fined and sometimes sent to labor camps.
state-sanctioned Catholic church has installed its second new bishop to
be appointed without Vatican approval this week. The Chinese Patriotic
Catholic Association ordained Liu Xinhong as bishop of the city of Wuhu
at St. Joseph's Church in the eastern province of Anhui on Wednesday.