Bishop Francis An Shuxin openly installed

Bishop Francis An Shuxin openly installed
2010-08-09 18:01:18
Coadjutor Bishop Francis An Shuxin of Baoding, a former leading figure in northern China’s “underground” Church community, has been installed as the ordinary of the “open” community at Sts. Peter and Paul Cathedral in Baoding city. The installation Mass was led by Bishop An with retired Bishop John Liu Jinghe and Bishop Peter Fang Jianping, both of Tangshan, along with 24 priests from local and neighboring dioceses and a congregation of around 500 on Aug. 7. The installation has caused greater division between the two Church communities. “It is just a formality required by the government to recognize him. His own decision is most important. For me, he is my bishop, installed or not,” an “open” priest said. But one of the 40 underground priests who chose not to attend the ceremony, said there is “no more space for reconciliation” for the time being. “At a meeting in June, we reminded Bishop An to be loyal to the Church, his faith and the Pope’s letter.  It is he who has not followed the faith, not we who are refusing to reconcile,” he said. “We will see what Rome will say this time,” he said, noting that Bishop An is still the coadjutor for Rome unless Bishop James Su Zhimin (alias Zhemin), the ordinary of Baoding who has been detained since 1997, is asked to retire. Bishop An has encountered controversy in the past. He was released from a 10-year detention in 2006 and allowed to work openly. He then took up a post in July 2009 at the Catholic Patriotic Association, an organization described in the Pope’s letter as “incompatible” with Catholic doctrines. The Congregation of Evangelization for the Peoples issued a statement months later denying a media report that the Holy See pressed Bishop An to leave his “underground” status and register with the CPA. Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, the Vatican’s secretary of state, wrote to Bishop An in February to tell him that his decision to join the CPA “should have been avoided” and ask him not to abandon the possibility of acting in line with official Church protocol. Related reports Zen says magazine’s criticism groundless Baoding bishop explains departure from ´underground´ Church Baoding Catholics remember detained clergy during Holy Week CH10758.1614
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