In China, More Excommunications

Cardinal Joseph Zen, retired from Hong Kong, interrupted his tour of North American Chinese communities to speak in New York on July 14 about renewed tensions between Beijing and the Vatican. That same morning in Shantou City, China’s state-sanctioned Catholic church ordained Joseph Huang Bingzhang as bishop. It was the third episcopal ordination this year arranged by China’s State Administration for Religious Affairs that had not received papal approval. A clarification from Rome on June 11 stated that both a bishop who consecrates without the apostolic mandate and a bishop who receives episcopal ordination in this manner incur excommunication through their actions under Canon 1382. It is not clear how many of the bishops who have participated in the three ordinations will be subject to excommunication, since many appear to have been forced to attend by Chinese security officers.

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