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Holy See rejects Leshan bishop

Pope is 'deeply saddened by the case, which has damaged the unity of the Church' reporter, Hong Kong
Hong Kong

July 4, 2011

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The Holy See has released today a firm-stance statement against the episcopal ordination of Father Paul Lei Shiyin in Leshan diocese, southwestern Sichuan province, who was ordained without apostolic mandate on June 29. The 4-point statement declares Father Lei has incurred the penalty of Canon 1382 of the Code of Canon Law, and the seven consecrating bishops have also exposed themselves to the same “grave canonical sanctions.” The Holy See does not recognize Father Lei as the Bishop of Leshan diocese, and he has no authority to govern the diocesan community, the statement says, adding that the ordination was a unilateral act and has sown division and produced rifts and tensions in the Catholic community in China. “If it is desired that the Church in China be Catholic, the Church’s doctrine and discipline must be respected,” the statement said. The pope is deeply saddened by the case, which has damaged the unity of the Church, the document states, adding however that the pope wishes to send a word of encouragement and hope to his beloved faithful in China and invite them to prayer and unity. The Leshan ordination was the first case since the Holy See issued a declaration on the correct application of the canonical penalty of excommunication for unapproved bishop ordinations on June 11. Related reports Different outcomes for China ordinations China cancels ordination of bishop Vatican condemns illicit ordination in China
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