China ordains bishop without papal approval

July 25, 2011

Chinese officials ordained a bishop without papal mandate, just 10 days after the Holy See excommunicated another newly ordained bishop.

Father Joseph Huang Bingzhang was ordained July 14 at St. Joseph's Cathedral in Shantou, in southern China's Guangdong province.

Then, on July 16, the Vatican announced that Huang had been excommunicated.Bishop Johan Fang Xingyao of Linyin, president of the government-sanctioned Chinese Catholic Patriotic Association, was the main celebrant.

He was one of eight Vatican-approved bishops at the ordination.

On July 4, the Holy See excommunicated Father Paul Lei Shiyin of Leshan, who was ordained a bishop without papal mandate.

The July 4 statement also said the consecrating bishops, including Fang, have exposed themselves to serious canonical sanctions.

However, few priests attended.

Many went into hiding, but some were found by government officials and had to attend the ordination.