China: Vatican warns against Harbin ordination

2012-07-04 Vatican Radio

(Vatican Radio) The Congregation for the Evangelisation of Peoples has issued a Note regarding reports of the imminent ordination of a bishop in Harbin, mainland China, without Papal mandate.

The 3 page Note, written in Italian, states that “the appointment of bishops is not a political but religious matter."

For this reason, every episcopal ordination should take place by papal mandate. Without this there is the no Catholic Church, and "divisions, wounds and tensions are created within the Catholic community in China." The Note points out that the community of faithful in Harbin, who have been fasting and holding prayer vigils, do not want the ordination

The Vatican Note states that the candidate, Fr. Yue Fusheng, was warned by the Holy See that he does not have papal approval and therefore, if he agrees to be ordained, risks excommunication latae sententiae, as well as all other participating bishops.

The Note says the government has also been informed of the Holy See’s position and that should the ordination go ahead it will also seriously undermine any hoped for dialogue.