China Ordinations Damaging Church's Unity, Says Aide

VATICAN CITY, JULY 15, 2011 ( The director of the Vatican press office spoke of Benedict XVI’s «sadness and concern» over the latest episcopal ordination in China carried out without the Pope’s approval. 

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Jesuit Father Federico Lombardi said the Thursday ordination of Father Joseph Huang Bingzhang damages «the unity of the universal Church.»

On June 29, Father Paul Lei Shiyin was also ordained a bishop without pontifical mandate.

«A number of bishops who are in communion with the Pope were obliged to attend yesterday’s ceremony,» the Vatican noted today.

Father Lombardi cited a declaration that followed the June ordination, which clarified that a bishop ordained without the papal mandate, and hence illegitimately, «has no authority to govern the diocesan Catholic community, and the Holy See does not recognize him as the bishop of that diocese.»

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A commentary on the Vatican’s response to the June 29 illicit ordination:

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