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7/16/11 China (AsiaNews) – The Pope’s sorrow at how “the Church in China is being treated”, the excommunication of Fr Joseph Huang Bingzhang, ordained bishop of Shantou (Guangdong) without a mandate and the Holy See’s appreciation for all the faithful and the bishops who have ” had expressed their unwillingness to take part in an illicit ordination and also offered various forms of resistance” to pressure from the government: they are the highlights of the Holy See statement published today regarding the Episcopal ordination of July 14.

In a terse and laconic fashion the excommunication of the ordained bishop is rendered public, because he ” had been informed some time ago that he could not be approved by the Holy See as an episcopal candidate. Reverend Huang had been asked on numerous occasions not to accept episcopal ordination”.

At the same time it emphasizes and appreciates the “resistance” put up by the bishops and faithful to avoid being dragged to take part in the illicit ordination. The bishops of Guangdong were seized and taken by force (see 11/07/2011 Officials kidnap bishops of Guangdong to force them to take part in illicit Shantou ordination); Mgr. Pei Junmin, designated as chief celebrant, was saved from being “kidnapped” thanks to the perpetual prayer of his priests and faithful protected him (07/08/2011 Liaoning priests rush to defense of bishop to prevent his participation in illegitimate ordination).

The fear of many believers is that the government could lash out against them by putting them in solitary confinement and forcing them to months of brainwashing on the “goodness” of China’s policy toward religion. AsiaNews has received an appeal on their part where they ask for our prayers and support.

The declaration of the Holy See once again claims ” the right of Chinese Catholics to be able to act freely, following their consciences and remaining faithful to the Successor of Peter and in communion with the universal Church”.

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