Tags: vatican | chinese | bishops | beijing

Vatican Asks Underground Chinese Bishops to Step Aside for Ones Backed by Beijing

Vatican Asks Underground Chinese Bishops to Step Aside for Ones Backed by Beijing
Chinese Catholics clasp their hands with devotion after communion during a commemorative mass the Southern Cathedral, Beijing's largest Catholic church in China Monday, April 4, 2005. .(AP Photo by Elizabeth Dalziel)

By    |   Wednesday, 24 January 2018 10:06 AM

The Vatican has reportedly requested that two Chinese bishops stand aside to make way for illicitly ordained counterparts backed by the government in Beijing, the Catholic Herald has reported.

A Vatican delegation asked Bishop Peter Zhuang of Shantou and Bishop Jospeh Guo Xijin of Mindong to retire or accept demotion in order to help improve relations with the Chinese government.

Bishop Zhuang received a letter asking him to resign to make way for Bishop Huang Bingzhang, a member of China's National People's Congress who was excommunicated in 2011 after being consecrated without Vatican approval, according to Asia News.

In addition, Bishop Joseph Guo Xijin of Mindong, who went missing last year after Chinese authorities forced him to pay a visit to the religious affairs bureau, was also asked by the Vatican to step down. A source said that before releasing him, the bishop was forced to sign a document by the Communist authorities accepting the demotion.

The moves are apparently part of a deal made by the Vatican regarding mutual recognition, in which the Chinese government would recognize dozens of underground bishops and the Catholic Church would in return accept several bishops previously appointed by the government, some of whom have been excommunicated for accepting their positions.

The apparent agreement between the Chinese government and the Vatican comes despite warnings from critics that it would be a betrayal of the Catholic Church's underground faithful, according to LifeSiteNews.

Joseph Zen, the retired bishop of Hong Kong, told the publication that he feared Pope Francis is "really naïve" about the intentions of the Chinese communists.

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The Vatican has reportedly requested that two Chinese bishops stand aside to make way for illicitly ordained counterparts backed by the government in Beijing. . .
vatican, chinese, bishops, beijing
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2018-06-24
Wednesday, 24 January 2018 10:06 AM
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