A newly ordained Chinese bishop who had been active in the government-controlled Catholic Patriotic Association publicly cut ties with the association at his ordination on July 7.
“After today’s ordination, I would devote every effort to episcopal ministry. It is inconvenient for me to serve the CPA post any more,” Auxiliary Bishop Thaddeus Ma Daqin of Shanghai told the congregation at the ceremony.
About 1000 people in St Ignatius’ Cathedral, Shanghai, responded with long and thunderous applause, reported UCANews.
Bishop Ma is the first “open” Chinese bishop in recent years to announce publicly during an episcopal ordination his intention to give up his offices in the CPA. He had been vice chair of the Shanghai CPA and a member of the standing committee of the national CPA.
“He needs to have much courage to speak these words as there are many government officials present. These words are not spoken to Catholics but to the officials,” said one person who attended the ordination.
About 30 priests concelebrated the ordination Mass but most clergy in Shanghai’s “open” Church community decided to follow their conscience and avoided concelebrating with an illicitly ordained bishop who was present, sources said.
That prelate, Bishop Vincent Zhan Silu of Mindong, did not lay hands on Bishop Ma, which came as a pleasant surprise to the priests who had avoided the ordination.
Meanwhile, the Vatican is considering its response to the illicit ordination of Father Joseph Yue Fusheng, also a CPA official, as bishop of Harbin city on July 6.
Five Vatican-approved bishops were reported to have taken part in the ceremony at the Sacred Heart of Jesus Church in Harbin city, the capital of Heilongjiang province.
The Congregation for the Evangelisation of Peoples had earlier warned those intending to participate that they faced automatic excommunication.
News category: World.