Sunday, December 5, 2010

The China Thing

Here's another one of those stories bigger than the condom issue. The Chinese government conducting illicit consecrations of bishops. Religious freedom being such a buzz-phrase, I'm surprised there hasn't been a bit more concern over this. National churches are very much despised in America, and given the usual story told about our roots that's understandable (sort of, in that people know the story and not so much the facts). Here's Zenit with the story:

. . . Father Joseph Guo Jincai "has not received the approval of the Holy Father to be ordained as a bishop of the Catholic Church."

Father Jincai is the vice secretary-general of the Catholic Patriotic Association. The Chinese government currently permits religious practice only with recognized personnel and in places registered with the Religious Affairs Office and under the control of the Patriotic Association.

This explains the difference between the "national" or "official" Church, and the faithful who oppose such control and who wish to obey the Pope directly. The latter constitute the non-official, or underground, Church. . .

UCANews reported today that the bishops designated to participate in the ordination include Bishop Peter Fang Jingping of Tangshan, Bishop Paul Pei Junmin of Liaoning, Bishop Joseph Li Liangui of Cangzhou, Bishop Peter Feng Xinmao of Hengshui, and Coadjutor Bishop Francis An Shuxin of Baoding.

Bishop Jingping is slated to be the presiding celebrant.

To make it worse, we have this:

UCANews reported that Bishop Pei is "unable to contact other bishops," and will be escorted to Chengde by religious officials.

It added that the other prelates are believed to be in Beijing at present, although the faithful of their communities have been unable to contact them.

In other words, this is probably not high on Bishop Pei's list of things that he wants to do. Pray for him and the other guys involved in this, whether of their own free will or not. They should be prayed for regardless. We all like to think that we could stand up and be martyrs. It's a different thing to actually be in that situation.

As usual, I'm going to plug the Cardinal Kung Foundation as a cause worthy of your support. If you are unfamiliar with the situation in China, check out this article from InsideCatholic or hit the labels on this post for more entries on this topic.

Our Lady of She-Shan, protect them!

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