The Vatican's Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples says that a group of Chinese bishops are "presumed" to be excommunicated for participating in last month's illicit ordination, until they can provide any justification for a lesser penalty.
"There is a sufficient reason to ascertain that these bishops actually committed a grave act of indiscipline through the illegitimate episcopal ordination, and, thus, are presumed to have incurred the excommunication, unless the contrary is proved," the congregation stated in a decree made public by Fides news service on July 12.
In the same document, the congregation made it clear that Father Paul Lei Shiyin, consecrated as a bishop in the illicit June 29 ceremony, "has already incurred the latae sententiae (automatic) excommunication, which is further 'declared' publicly by the Holy See."
The congregation stressed that both Fr. Lei Shiyin, and the bishops involved in his consecration, must seek reconciliation with the Vatican