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Illicit bishop excommunicated, Shanghai bishop welcomed
Rome (vaticanradio): Joseph Yue Fusheng who was ordained on Friday 6
July in China, without pontifical mandate and hence illicitly, has automatically incurred the sanctions laid down by canon 1382 of the Code of Canon Law. Consequently, the Holy See does not recognize him as Bishop of the Apostolic Administration of Harbin, and he lacks the authority to govern the priests and the Catholic community in the Province of Heilongjiang, said a statement of the Holy See on Tuesday.
It said that he had been informed some time ago that he could not be approved by the Holy See as an episcopal candidate, and on several occasions he had been asked not to accept episcopal ordination without the pontifical mandate.
The statement wanted ‘the Bishops who took part in the illicit episcopal ordination and have exposed themselves to the sanctions laid down by the law of the Church, to give an account to the Holy See of their participation in that religious ceremony’.
The statement also appreciated ‘those priests, consecrated persons and lay faithful who prayed and fasted for a change of heart in the Reverend Yue Fusheng, for the holiness of the Bishops and for the unity of the Church in China, particularly in the Apostolic Administration of Harbin.’
It also called upon ‘all Catholics in China, Pastors, priests, consecrated persons and lay faithful, to defend and safeguard that which pertains to the doctrine and tradition of the Church.’
Even amid the present difficulties, they look to the future with faith, comforted by the certainty that the Church is founded on the rock of Peter and his Successors, the statement added.
The Apostolic See, trusting in the concrete willingness of the Government Authorities of China to dialogue with the Holy See, hopes that the said Authorities will not encourage gestures contrary to such dialogue, the statement noted.
The statement further said that ‘the ordination of Thaddeus Ma Daqin as Auxiliary Bishop of the Diocese of Shanghai on Saturday 7 July 2012 is encouraging and is to be welcomed. The presence of a bishop who is not in communion with the Holy Father was inappropriate and shows a lack of consideration for a lawful episcopal ordination’, the statement concluded.
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