Loading
Vatican rebukes China for conducting bishop ordination
Pope Benedict and the illicitly ordained Bishop Jincai
Pope Benedict and the illicitly ordained Bishop Jincai
Facebook Twitter Google+ Pinterest Addthis

.- The Vatican has issued a sharply worded rebuke to China for ordaining a new bishop who was not appointed or approved by the Pope.

The Nov. 20 ordination of Father Joseph Guo Jincai in the northeastern city of Chengde was “a painful wound upon ecclesial communion and a grave violation of Catholic discipline,” the Vatican said in a statement issued Nov. 24 in Rome.  

Pope Benedict XVI received news of the ordination “with deep regret,” according to the statement.

“This ordination not only does not contribute to the good of the Catholics of Chengde, but … humiliates them, because the Chinese civil authorities wish to impose on them a pastor who is not in full communion, either with the Holy Father or with the other bishops throughout the world,” the Vatican said.

Father Guo, now faces what the Vatican called “painful repercussions” — automatic ex-communication.

The Vatican also condemned Chinese authorities for putting several bishops loyal to Rome under house arrest in an attempt to force them to participate in the ordination.

The Vatican called these strong-arm tactics “a grave violation of freedom of religion and conscience.” It promised to investigate the incident further and make “a detailed evaluation of what has happened.”

The ordination complicates an already tense situation between Rome and Beijing.

Since the communist takeover of China in 1949, Catholics have been forced to worship in state-approved “patriotic” churches, with communist leaders picking their bishops. Catholics faithful to Rome have remained underground and are served by bishops and priests ordained secretly and approved by the Pope.  Underground Catholics have faced persecution from the Chinese government, including being placed in jail for years.

In recent years relations have warmed. Rome has recognized many of the bishops appointed by Chinese authorities, and communist leaders have shown a willingness to cooperate with Rome in appointing new bishops. In a 2007 letter to China’s Catholics, the Pope expressed a new desire to normalize relations.

The ordination of Fr. Guo, a top official in the state-run Chinese Catholic Patriotic Association, throws these hopeful developments into question.

And the new Vatican statement is unusually blunt and forceful in responding to the provocative nature of the ordination.

Chinese officials’ “claim to place themselves above the bishops and to guide the life of the ecclesial community does not correspond to Catholic doctrine; it offends the Holy Father, the Church in China and the universal Church, and further complicates the present pastoral difficulties,” the statement said.

The statement took the unusual step of singling out by name Liu Bainian, the vice chairman of the government-backed Church. Under his “influence,” the Vatican said, the state-approved Church has “adopted attitudes that gravely damage the Catholic Church and hamper … dialogue.”

According to the statement, Church officials had been working behind the scenes throughout the year to try to stop Fr. Guo’s ordination. “In spite of this,” the Vatican said, “authorities decided to proceed unilaterally, to the detriment of the atmosphere of respect that had been created with great effort.”

The Vatican statement concludes with a sharply worded prayer for the people of China and their communist rulers:

“The Catholics of the entire world are following with particular attention the troubled journey of the Church in China: the spiritual solidarity with which they accompany the vicissitudes of their Chinese brothers and sisters becomes a fervent prayer to the Lord of history, so that he may be close to them, increase their hope and fortitude, and give them consolation in moments of trial.”


 

Ads by AdsLiveMedia(What's this?)

* The number of messages that can be online is limited. CNA reserves the right to edit messages for content and tone. Comments and opinions expressed by users do not necessarily reflect the opinions or beliefs of CNA. CNA will not publish comments with abusive language, insults or links to other pages

RESOURCES »

Ads by Google (What's this?)

Featured Videos

An Indian contribution to the Vatican's Synod on the Family
An Indian contribution to the Vatican's Synod on the Family
Christ Cathedral CNA video Sept 2014
Alejandro Bermudez of CNA accepts ice bucket challenge
'The Real Albania,' remembering those who fled
Pope Francis in Albania, "one of the most important visits of the post-communist era in Albania"
Pope Francis greets paralyzed man who risked all to see him
Franciscans on the banks of the Tiber in Rome, working for the New Evangelization
Pilgrimage from Czech Republic to Assisi and Rome for intentions
Testimony of young Indian who met Pope in Korea
Preparations of the Closing Mass of 6th Asian Youth Day
Missionary of Charity, Korea
Testimony of Christian Love during Pope's Visit to Korea
Religious Sisters in South Korea react to Pope Francis kissing a baby
Warm atmosphere during Holy Mass at Daejeon World Cup Stadium
Images inside Pope Francis flight to South Korea
The tombs of the early Christians
Missionaries of Africa, called "the White Fathers"
Italian youth give testimony after mission to Peru
Interview with Iraqi Ambassador to the Holy See on the persecution of Christians
New book 'The Vatican unknown'
Oct
23

Liturgical Calendar

October 23, 2014

Thursday of the Twenty-Ninth Week in Ordinary Time

All readings:
Today »
This year »

Catholic Daily

Gospel of the Day

Lk 12:49-53

Gospel
Date
10/23/14
10/22/14
10/21/14

Daily Readings


First Reading:: Eph 3:14-21
Gospel:: Lk 12: 49-53

Saint of the Day

St. Romuald »

Saint
Date
10/23/14

Homily of the Day

Lk 12:49-53

Homily
Date
10/23/14
10/22/14
10/21/14