Concern Over Illegitimate Episcopal Ordination In China

Holy See Press Office Director Fr. Federico Lombardi S.J. spoke yesterday of the Pope's sadness and concern at the latest illegitimate episcopal ordination in China which, he said, damages "the unity of the universal Church".

Yesterday at Shantou in the region of Guandong Fr. Joseph Huang Bingzhang was ordained a bishop without pontifical mandate. A similar episode took place on 29 June when Fr. Paul Lei Shiyin was ordained as bishop of Leshan. A number of bishops who are in communion with the Pope were obliged to attend yesterday's ceremony.

Following the Leshan ordination, the Holy See released a declaration highlighting how a bishop ordained "without the papal mandate, and hence illegitimately, has no authority to govern the diocesan Catholic community, and the Holy See does not recognise him as the bishop of that diocese".

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