China church ordains bishop despite Vatican objection

2010-11-20 07:22

Chengde, China – China’s government-backed Catholic church ordained a bishop who did not have the pope’s approval today, despite objections from the Vatican and comments by a key papal adviser that the move was “illegitimate” and “shameful”.

Dozens of police surrounded the Pingquan Church in Chengde city, in northeastern Hebei province, where the ordination ceremony was held for the Reverend Guo Jincai.

Guo is the deputy secretary of the Chinese Catholic Patriotic Association, a government role that perhaps raised Vatican concerns.
Police let reporters inside the church after the ceremony was over.

“It went very smoothly,” the association’s vice chairperson, Liu Bainian, said by telephone.

China’s first ordination without papal approval in almost five years threatened to hurt the officially atheist country’s already shaky relations with the Vatican.

Hong Kong’s cardinal, who is a key adviser to the pope, had called the planned ordination “illegitimate” and “shameful”.

Communist China forced its Roman Catholics to cut ties with the Vatican in 1951, and worship is allowed only in state-backed churches, although millions of Chinese belong to unofficial congregations loyal to Rome.

In recent years, under Pope Benedict XVI, relations have improved. Disputes over appointments in China’s official church have been avoided by quietly conferring on candidates, leading to several ordinations of bishops with the Holy See’s blessing.

However, Guo does not have the pope’s approval. The Vatican said Thursday it was “disturbed by reports” that a number of bishops loyal to the pope were being forced by government officials to attend the ordination. It warned China that reconciliation efforts will be set back if the reports turned out to be true.

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions. publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.