Easter blessings from UCAN
There is no more important week in the year for Christians than this Holy Week. We call it Holy because of the mystery we celebrate - God's gift of His son who loves us to his death on Calvary and beyond.
Because of that love, we wish each other Happy Easter even when we know there is a lot of tragedy about it - Good Friday. As Christians, we know that what we see happening with and in Jesus goes to the heart of what we know from our own experience of life.
At the Second Vatican Council, the Christian lives we all lead were described as being shares in the Paschal Mystery. We have our share in the death and resurrection of Jesus every day. Our lives are part of the Paschal Mystery.
At UCAN, we work to describe that mystery in the unfolding tragedies and astonishing blessings of the people we seek out and report, feature and comment on.
While at times deeply distressing work, this effort of ours gets its coherence in the same way the death of Jesus did - because of the astonishing grace of a God who never gives up on life and love.
Because of that, we can wish you Happy Easter.
Fr. Michael Kelly SJ
Bishops attend unapproved ordination
Event in Guangdong province attended by Vatican-approved bishopsFather Joseph Huang Bingzhang of Shantou (with red mitre) receives episcopal ordination without papal mandate (Internet photo)
- ucanews.com reporter, Shantou
- July 14, 2011
Eight Vatican-approved bishops attended the ordination that took place at St. Joseph‚Äôs Cathedral in Shantou city, southern Guangdong province.
Bishop Johan Fang Xingyao of Linyin, president of the government-sanctioned Chinese Catholic Patriotic Association (CCPA), was the main celebrant.
Four of the consecrating bishops were from Guangdong: Bishops Joseph Gan Junqiu of Guangzhou, Paul Liang Jiansen of Jiangmen, Joseph Liao Hongqing of Meizhou and Paul Su Yongda of Zhanjiang.
The rest were Bishops Paul He Zeqing of Wanzhou, Joseph Shen Bin of Haimen and Coadjutor Bishop John Baptist Li Suguang of Nanchang.
The Shantou ordination took place just 10 days after the Holy See excommunicated Father Paul Lei Shiyin of Leshan, who was ordained a bishop without papal mandate.
The July 4 statement also stated that the consecrating bishops, including Bishops Fang and He, have exposed themselves to grave canonical sanctions.
In Shantou this morning, police sealed off all roads around the cathedral. Nobody could get near without an entry card. Only designated photographers were allowed to bring cameras or video recorders.
About 30 priests and more than 1,000 people were present. However, Church sources said fewer than half of the 20 diocesan priests attended. They hid away separately days ago but a few were found by officials and had to attend to the ceremony.
Vatican-approved Bishop Peter Zhuang Jianjian of Shantou, whom the government recognized as a priest, is watched by dozens of plainclothes officers at his rural church.
Bishop Zhuang will not recognize Father Huang as a bishop, saying he violated Church law and principles. ‚ÄúBefore Father Huang repents wholeheartedly, we will not have any contact in sacraments as he chose not to be in communion with the pope,‚ÄĚ said a source quoting the old prelate.
The bishop has called on the faithful to recite the rosaries for God‚Äôs help to overcome the difficulties.
A Shantou priest who attended the ordination said he hoped the new bishop could unite the priests for the good of the local Church. ‚ÄúForgiveness, tolerance and mutual support are more important,‚ÄĚ said the priest on condition of anonymity.
Even if the Holy See excommunicates Bishop Huang, ‚ÄúI will work with him except for sacramental communion and continue to serve my parishioners who are innocent in this incident,‚ÄĚ he said.
The priest recalled that the new bishop said after the ceremony that he knows his road ahead is very difficult. ‚ÄúToday is an unforgettable day for me. I am a humble man, who hoped to contribute for the country, the Church and society,‚ÄĚ the new bishop was quoted as saying.
In internet chatrooms, many Catholics across China have expressed their sadness, sorrow and helplessness at the second illicit ordination in two weeks.
Born in 1967, Father Huang entered the seminary in 1985 and became a priest in 1991. He has been a deputy of the National People‚Äôs Congress (China‚Äôs parliament) since 1998 and is a vice-chair of the CCPA.
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