China Prepares Another Illicit Ordination

ROME, JUNE 3, 2011 ( The national church in China is preparing an episcopal ordination for next Thursday, with Father Joseph Shen Guo’an set to become the illicitly ordained prelate of the Wuhan Diocese.

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This information, from UCANews, is the first of more illicit ordinations on the horizon, it reported. The Sichuan province is expected to ordain three bishops, perhaps this month, and one of those (for the Leshan Diocese) does not have papal approval.

In November of last year, another bishop was ordained without papal approval.

The Vatican has reminded China that religious freedom implies the right for the Church to choose its own leadership.

Last month, Benedict XVI made an impassioned appeal to the universal Church to pray for the faithful of China. «There, as elsewhere, Christ is living out his passion,» the Pope said, adding that «the [Chinese] faithful have a right to our prayers, they need our prayers.»

«Chinese Catholics, as they have said many times, want unity with the universal Church, with the Supreme Pastor, with the Successor of Peter,» the Pope affirmed. «By our prayers we can obtain for the Church in China that it remain one, holy and Catholic, faithful and steadfast in doctrine and in ecclesial discipline. She deserves all our affection.»

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