A Catholic bishop in the Philippines has welcomed the agreement
between the Vatican and China removing the illegitimate status of seven bishops who were ordained without the Vatican's consent. Bishop Teodoro Bacani Jr., emeritus prelate of Novaliches Diocese, said the "church has to work within the framework of what is possible and legitimate." "The Vatican has chosen this way, and it is a positive development," he told ucanews.com. When asked about the possible reaction of some Catholics, Bishop Bacani said there is "no legitimate basis for disagreeing with the accord because the canonical requirement will be made by the pope." He said the consecration and ordination of the bishops would only be accorded to those recognized by the pope, adding that it is essential "and even the conservatives will agree." In an announcement at the weekend, the Vatican said representatives of the Holy See and the Chinese government had signed what they described as a "provisional agreement" on the appointment of bishops. "With a view to sustaining the proclamation of the Gospel in China, the Holy Father Pope Francis has decided to readmit to full ecclesial communion the remaining 'official' bishops ordained without pontifical mandate," the Vatican said in an announcement. The appointment of Catholic bishops in China has been problematic since China broke off diplomatic ties with the Holy See in 1951.