ICC Note: Catholic leaders in China put in best – the ordination of priests by Chinese government-approved bishops is “yet another example of the Communist government tightening its control over the Church.” It is the same quest for control that has led the Chinese government to intimidate and harass Christians across the country through church raids, cross and church demolitions, and imprisonment for any who challenge these actions.
By UCANews.com staff, Hong Kong
08/14/2015 China (UCANews.com)
Two excommunicated illicit bishops in China have ordained priests in separate ceremonies during the past two months.
Catholic leaders expressed concern over the ordinations, saying it was yet another example of the Communist government tightening its control over the Church.
Father Joseph Yue Fusheng of Heilongjiang, who was excommunicated by the Vatican in 2012, ordained three priests in an Aug. 6 Mass at Sacred Heart of Jesus Church in Harbin. The ceremony was concelebrated by 31 priests and attended by about 500 Catholics.
On June 29, Father Lei Shiyin, an illicit bishop excommunicated by the Vatican in 2011, ordained a new priest and presided over the vow-taking ceremony for two nuns during a ceremony in the newly built Sacred Heart Cathedral in Leshan city.
Security was tight in Harbin; participants needed an official pass to enter the church, according to a local witness.
Bishop Joseph Wei Jingyi of Qiqihar, the only Vatican-approved bishop in Heilongjiang province, told ucanews.com that “whoever consecrates or is being consecrated, their status is grave”.