Chinese Bishops Arrested for Their Faith in Vatican

Chinese Bishops Arrested for Their Faith in Vatican

by Sunny Chao &
Gary Pansey
Epoch Times
Staff Created: Jul 12, 2011 Last Updated: Jul 14, 2011

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Related articles: China
> Democracy
and Human Rights


Christmas Mass in Beijing. (Liu Jin/Getty Images)

Continuing the fight over to whom Chinese Catholics owe allegiance, police
arrested four bishops recognized by the Vatican. They were taken away on July 9
and 10 because they refused to participate in the upcoming ordination of a priest anointed by the Chinese Communist
Party’s Church for the diocese of Shantou, Guangdong on July 14.

diocese’s current Bishop, appointed by the Vatican, had to be secretly ordained
in 2006. His bishopric is not recognized by the ruling Party and he is
constantly watched by Public Security. Due to
his age and infirmity from a car accident,
the necessity of ordaining a new Bishop arose.

An episcopal ordination
without Vatican approval had taken place in Leshan, Sichuan on July 4, causing
Rome to warn participants that they were “exposing themselves to grave canonical

The Catholic Church in Rome viewed that
Bishop as unacceptable because, reported La Stampa in Italy, he fathered a child
out of wedlock.

The four bishops, each from a diocese in Guangdong, were
unwilling to attend the ordination since it also was not recognized by the
Vatican. The Catholic Asia News reported that the four’s whereabouts are not
known and that one “was sobbing as he was dragged away.”

Canon Law states
that Bishops without a Pontifical Mandate,
and those who ordain them, “incur excommunication.”

The ruling Chinese
Communist Party established a “Patriotic Church” in the 1950s which denies that
the Pope has any authority in China. “Elections” for the post of bishop are
tightly monitored by the Party and those who refuse to participate are placed under

If the ordination occurs, it will constitute the third
illicit one in the past nine months. Though relations between Beijing and the
Vatican had seemed to be thawing, China announced on June 23 that a possible 40
new bishops may be ordained soon without Vatican



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