Vatican condemns China power grab
The Vatican Commission on the Church in China has condemned the participation of illicitly ordained bishops in recent episcopal ordinations as a “usurpation” of power and has expressed concerns over a decline in priestly vocations in the country.
In a statement released yesterday, the Vatican said that “illegitimate bishops” who “have carried out acts of jurisdiction,” or have administered sacraments, “usurp a power which the Church has not conferred upon them.”
The statement follows recent ordinations last week in Hunan and Nanchang, in both of which illicitly ordained bishops participated.
“In recent days some of them have participated in episcopal ordinations which were authorized by the Church. The behavior of these bishops, in addition to aggravating their canonical status, has disturbed the faithful and often has violated the consciences of the priests and lay faithful who were involved,” the statement said.
The commission further called on legitimate bishops who have taken part in illicit ordinations to ask forgiveness of the pope “as soon as possible” and stressed that those who have asked pardon in the past have received it.
“The Church needs good bishops,” the statement said. [More]