The Vatican has issued a statement noting that Father Joseph Huang Bingzhang, the latest bishop to be illicitly ordained in China, will face excommunication.

"The Reverend Joseph Huang Bingzhang, having been ordained without papal mandate and hence illicitly, has incurred the sanctions laid down by canon 1382 of the Code of Canon Law," the Vatican said in its July 16 statement.

"Consequently, the Holy See does not recognize him as Bishop of the Diocese of Shantou, and he lacks authority to govern the Catholic community of the Diocese."

Canon 1382 of the Catholic Church's Code of Canon Law states both a bishop who "without a pontifical mandate, consecrates a person as Bishop, and the one who receives the consecration from him, incur a latae sententiae (automatic) excommunication reserved to the Apostolic See."

Fr. Huang Bingzhang's ordination as bishop of Shantou in China's southern Guangdong province took place July 14.

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