An Asian Christian woman living in London blogging about the everyday issues of religion

Monday, 29 November 2010

Illicit episcopal Chinese ordination

'Guo was ordained a bishop Saturday in Chengde, the first time in five years that China had carried out an ordination without Rome’s consent. News reports have said Chinese authorities forced ...Vatican-approved bishops to attend, sequestering them for several days beforehand' -China Digital Times.
China's Communist Party forced Catholic nationals to cut off links with the Vatican in 1951 because of the party's suspicion of organised religion. The Communist Party created the Chinese Catholic Patriotic Association (CCPA) in 1957 and the word 'Patriotic' in the title ought to give you a flavour of the new party's loyalties. As a result, Christians and Catholics opposed to the new arrangement meet in secret locations to worship and live in fear of the establishment raiding their churches. A number of priests have been arrested for arranging these secret churches. Chinese officials have given no heed to the objections raised by the Vatican. Furthermore,since 2006 they have started ordaining Bishops without the cooperation or approval of the Vatican.
The latest development in this sorry saga is very distrubing. At least two traditionally appointed Bishops were forced by the authorities to take part in the ordination of a CCPA Bishop. Bishop of Cangzhou, Joseph Li Liangui, and the Bishop of Henshui, Peter Xinmao, were captured and made to participate in the 'illicit episcopal ordination' of a Priest who is a member of the Chinese Parliament. He is part of the Government machinery and, thus, will be valuable in ensuring that religious activity becomes even more state controlled.
The adviser to the Pope on Chinese affairs, Cardinal Joseph Ze-Kiun from Hong Kong, said, 'once more thay have crucified Jesus...The methods used to force the Bishops to take part in this ceremony were fascist'.
He isn't far wrong. The Nazis elected Reich Bishops who were instrumental in setting up the National Reich Church. The thirty point programme of articles (forming the constitution of the Church) set out the close relationship between the Church and state controlled activity. Religion was an instrument to be used to wield destruction by the Nazis.

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