Monday, October 26, 2020
25.5 C
Johannesburg
Home Church Pope recognises illicitly ordained Chinese bishops

Pope recognises illicitly ordained Chinese bishops

Saturday 22 September 2018 saw the signing of an agreement between the Vatican and China which is set to be a watershed moment in diplomatic and church relations, after years of much controversy and turmoil between them, reports Hannah Brockhaus. 

After the signing of a provisional Vatican-China deal on the nomination of bishops, on Saturday 22 September 2018, the Vatican announced Pope Francis’ recognition of seven illicitly ordained Chinese bishops.

The decision was made “with a view to sustaining the proclamation of the Gospel in China,” according to a Sept. 22 Vatican press brief.

Those bishops who will now be admitted to full communion with the Church are Bishop Joseph Guo Jincai of Rehe; Bishop Joseph Huang Bingzhang of Shantou; Bishop Paul Lei Shiyin of Jiading; Bishop Joseph Liu Xinhong of Wuhu; Metropolitan Archbishop Joseph Ma Yinglin of Kunming; Bishop Joseph Yue Fusheng, apostolic administrator of Harbin; and Bishop Vincent Zhan Silu of Funing.

The pope also recognized Bishop Anthony Tu Shihua, who died on Jan. 4, 2017, but, according to the press release, “had expressed the desire to be reconciled with the Apostolic See” before his death.

The statement expressed Francis’ hope that the decision to recognize the bishops, who were ordained by the Chinese government without permission from Rome, would begin a new process “that will allow the wounds of the past to be overcome, leading to the full communion of all Chinese Catholics.”

The Catholic Community in China “is called to live a more fraternal collaboration, in order to promote with renewed commitment, the proclamation of the Gospel,” he continued. “In fact, the Church exists to give witness to Jesus Christ and to the forgiving and salvific love of the Father.”

Vatican Secretary of State, Cardinal Pietro Parolin, sent a statement commenting on the provisional agreement between the Vatican and China, saying, “today, for the first time all the Bishops in China are in communion with the Bishop of Rome, with the Successor of Peter.”

“Pope Francis, like his immediate Predecessors, looks with particular care to the Chinese People,” he noted. “What is required now is unity, is trust and a new impetus; to have good Pastors, recognized by the Successor of Peter – by the Pope – and by the legitimate civil Authorities.”

Addressing the Catholic community in China, including priests, bishops, religious, and laity, he said the pope asks, “above all, the commitment to make concrete fraternal gestures of reconciliation among themselves, and so to overcome past misunderstandings, past tensions, even the recent ones.”

Parolin said the objective of the deal is pastoral and meant to create greater freedom and autonomy for the Church in China, to aid its mission of spreading the Gospel. Signing the agreement is “of great importance, especially for the life of the Church in China,” he said.

It was also announced Sept. 22 that Pope Francis has established a new diocese in China, “the Diocese of Chengde,” as a suffragan diocese of the See of Beijing, for “the pastoral care of the Lord’s flock and to attend with greater efficacy to is spiritual good.”

Its cathedral will be the church of Jesus the Good Shepherd, which is situated in the administrative division of Shuangluan, “Chengde City.”

According to the statement the diocese’s territory will be defined by the civil boundaries of “Chengde City” and will require the modification of the dioceses of Jehol/Jinzhou and Chifeng, as a portion of each will become part of the new diocese.

The new diocese will be composed of roughly 15,000 square miles with a population of around 3.7 million. There are estimated to be around 25,000 Catholics in 12 parishes served by seven priests.

Source: Catholic News Agency

* The opinions expressed here by Spotlight.Africa contributors and editors are their own and not official statements of the Society of Jesus in South Africa or of the Catholic Church unless explicitly stated.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Catholic News Agencyhttps://www.catholicnewsagency.com
CNA strives to provide free, up-to-the-minute news affecting the Universal Church, giving particular emphasis to the words of the Holy Father and events of the Holy See, to any person with access to the internet. Catholic News Agency is an apostolate of EWTN News.

Most Popular

Pope announces a consistory for the creation of 13 new cardinals

During the Angelus on Sunday, 25 October 2020, Pope Francis announced that he was going to create 13 new cardinals. Vatican News...

School culture at the heart of shaping new education futures

In a previous article, Mark Potterton described the educational potential of technology but cautioned against reducing learning to an online experience. In...

“Homosexual people have a right to be in a family… nobody should be thrown out,” says Pope Francis

Pope Francis is in the headlines again after a documentary film by the Russian Jew, Evgeny Afineevsky, was premiered at the Rome...

Getting back to normal — Is it even possible?

The world has changed dramatically in less than a year. Shrikant Peters looks beyond the immediate health crisis and examines the impact...

Archives

Donate