Chinese authorities act against Bishop Ma

In a move described by a Vatican representative as “an abuse of authority”, government authorities backed by the new Chinese leadership have withdrawn their recognition of Bishop Thaddeus Ma Daqin, the auxiliary bishop of Shanghai.

Bishop Ma has been under house arrest since he publicly resigned from the Chinese Catholic Patriotic Association at his ordination in July and said he would devote himself full-time to his pastoral ministry.

At a two-day meeting in Beijing, the patriotic association and the Bishops’ Conference of the Catholic Church in China — neither of which are recognised by the Vatican — decided to revoke their original approval of Bishop Ma.

They called on Shanghai diocese to “deal with Ma in a serious manner”.

Among the six “charges” laid against the bishop, they accused him of deliberately preventing an illegitimate bishop and two other participating bishops from laying hands on his head and forbidding them from receiving Communion.

They also charged him with not publicly distinguishing whether he is coadjutor or auxiliary bishop, a title given by the Pope, and that the oath was incomplete as a result of deliberate damage to the sound system, sources told UCA News.

In addition, they blamed him for the absence of many diocesan priests and nuns at the ordination and determined the declaration he made in his thanksgiving speech would have a damaging influence on others.

The secretary of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples, Archbishop Savio Hon Tai-fai, who is a native of Hong Kong, said: “This is a clear case of abuse of authority.”

“This so-called bishops’ conference has never been recognised by the Holy See. No conference in the world has the power to appoint or remove a bishop, least of all this so-called conference, which is not recognised by the Pope,” he said.

“Anyone involved in this act will have to explain why they have decided to cause such harm to the Church and the communion of the Church, both in China and in the world.”


UCA News


Image: UCA News

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