VATICAN CITY (Vatican Radio):
The Holy See issued a statement on Tuesday, July 10, 2012
regarding the recent Episcopal ordinations in Harbin and
Shanghai, mainland China. The document states that 48 year old
Fr. Joseph Yue Fusheng, who was illicitly ordained bishop of
Harbin north-east China on July 6th last, has incurred
excommunication. He is not recognized as a bishop and holds no
Episcopal authority. Moreover, the bishops who concelebrated his
ordination now must explain their actions to the Holy See.
These are direct consequences of his decision to
go ahead with the ordination despite not having Pope Benedict
XVI's approval. He was warned of the grave consequences of such
actions contrary to the Catholic faith on a number of occasions,
"most recently in a Note published by the Congregation for the
Evangelization of Peoples" two days before the ceremony.
The statement praises "those priests, consecrated
persons and lay faithful who prayed and fasted for a change of
heart" in Fr. Yue and calls on all Catholics in China "to defend
and safeguard the doctrine and tradition of the Church", which
is "founded on the rock of Peter and his Successors".
In the same statement, the Holy See welcomes the
ordination of Bishop Thaddeus Ma Daqin as an auxiliary of
Shanghai diocese as "encouraging". However, the Holy See regrets
the presence of an illegitimate Bishop at the liturgy.
The Holy See statement concludes by expressing
trust in the concrete willingness of the Government Authorities
of China to dialogue with the Holy See, and "not encourage
gestures contrary to such dialogue".
Below is the full the text of the statement
released Tuesday morning by the Holy See regarding the recent
Episcopal ordinations in Harbin and Shanghai, China:
With regard to the episcopal ordination of the
Reverend Joseph Yue Fusheng, which took place in Harbin
(Province of Heilongjiang) on Friday 6 July 2012, the following
Reverend Joseph Yue Fusheng, ordained 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
Reverend Yue Fusheng 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.
2) 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, must give
an account to the Holy See of their participation in that
Appreciation is due to 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.
4) All Catholics in China, Pastors, priests,
consecrated persons and lay faithful, are called 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.
5) 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. Chinese Catholics
also wish to see practical steps taken in this direction, the
first among which is the avoidance of illicit celebrations and
episcopal ordinations without pontifical mandate that cause
division and bring suffering to the Catholic communities in
China and the universal Church.
The ordination of the Reverend 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