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Vatican condemns China power grab
Says evangelization cannot happen at the expense of doctrine and obedience is paramount
- Alessandro Speciale, Vatican
- Vatican City
- April 27, 2012
In a statement released yesterday, the Vatican said that â€śillegitimate bishopsâ€ť who â€śhave carried out acts of jurisdiction,â€ť or have administered sacraments, â€śusurp a power which the Church has not conferred upon them.â€ť
The statement follows recent ordinations last week in Hunan and Nanchang, in both of which illicitly ordained bishops participated.
â€śIn recent days some of them have participated in episcopal ordinations which were authorized by the Church. The behavior of these bishops, in addition to aggravating their canonical status, has disturbed the faithful and often has violated the consciences of the priests and lay faithful who were involved,â€ť the statement said.
The commission further called on legitimate bishops who have taken part in illicit ordinations to ask forgiveness of the pope â€śas soon as possibleâ€ť and stressed that those who have asked pardon in the past have received it.
â€śThe Church needs good bishops,â€ť the statement said.
The statement said the Vatican has followed these â€śpainful eventsâ€ť in the China Church vigorously but charitably.
â€śEvangelization cannot be achieved by sacrificing essential elements of the Catholic faith and discipline.
â€śObedience to the pope [is the] presupposition of every true renewal.â€ť
The commission was created in 2007 by Pope Benedict XVI and comprises cardinals of the Roman Curia together with Chinese bishops and heads of religious orders.
It convened for its annual session this week in Rome, specifically to address the issue of improving lay Catholic formation in China.
In their final statement following the meeting, the cardinals sounded a conciliatory note by recognizing that â€śCatholics are called to take part in civic life,â€ť which includes â€śpromoting values which are also proper to traditional Chinese culture.â€ť
Vatican committee on China to meet
Hunan ordains new bishop
Nanchong diocese ordains bishop