Pope Benedict deplores the manner in which the Catholic Church in China is being treated by Chinese officials.
[singlepic id=50 w=320 float=right]That from a Vatican statement regarding last Thursday’s illicit Episcopal ordination of Fr. Joseph Huang Bingzhang (we first wrote about the ordination last week
The ordination was conducted through the government-sanctioned Chinese Catholic Patriotic Association.
The Holy Father also "hopes that the present difficulties can be overcome as soon as possible."
The statement commended the bishops and priests who resisted participating in the ordination, but were ultimately forced to be present for it.
It says their resistance is “meritorious before God and calls for appreciation on the part of the whole Church.” It also commended those who are “accompanying [those bishops and priests] by their prayers and sharing in their deep suffering.”
Regarding the illicit ordination, the statement notes there was no papal mandate and thus Fr. Huang is not recognized by the Holy See nor does he have any authority over the Diocese of Shantou in which he was ordained. It also notes he had been asked on numerous occasions not to accept the episcopal ordination. By accepting it he has incurred excommunication.
Read the full statement from the Vatican here
CNS photo/Nancy Wiechec