July 2, 2011. (Romereports.com)
Once again, the Vatican is at odds with China's government backed church. It's called the Catholic Patriotic Church, which recently ordained a bishop without Vatican approval. Father Paul Lei Shiyin, was ordained bishop of Leshan by the head of the gubernatorial Church on June 29th, the feast day of St. Peter and St. Paul.
Some say holding the ceremony on that religious date only highlights the disregard Chinese church officials have when it comes to the Vatican. Not only have warnings been ignored, but Chinese officials say they plan to ordain another 40 bishops with or without Vatican approval.
According to published reports, the newly ordained bishop, personally requested approval from the Vatican. But in an interview with UCA news agency, he said he couldn't wait any longer for an answer. He also said, “we have to consider the Church's survival....and must work according to reality.” Creating even more controversy, Shiyin is said to have had an affair and fathered a child.
About 1,000 people attended the ceremony, but it's still unclear if everyone was there voluntarily. In the past, clerics who are faithful to the Vatican, have been threatened if they refuse to attend these type of government backed ceremonies.
Ordaining bishops without Vatican approval could automatically lead to excommunication.