Holy See excommunicates China bishops over ordination without Pope’s mandate
(July 04, 2011) The Holy See has condemned as illegitimate the ordination of a bishop of Leshan diocese in mainland China, saying it is goes against papal authority. In a statement on Monday, the Holy See said that Rev. Paul Lei Shiyin, ordained bishop on June 29, and those who consecrated him have incurred automatic excommunication with their act, according to article 1382 of the Canon Law.
“Rev. Lei Shiyin, ordained without the Papal mandate and hence illegitimately, has no authority to govern the diocesan Catholic community, and the Holy See does not recognise him as the Bishop of the Diocese of Leshan,” the Holy See said. The priest had been informed earlier by the Vatican that “he was unacceptable to the Holy See as an episcopal candidate for proven and very grave reasons.”
The Vatican noted that “the Leshan episcopal ordination has deeply saddened the Holy Father, who wishes to send to the beloved faithful in China a word of encouragement and hope, inviting them to prayer and unity.” An episcopal ordination without Papal mandate is directly opposed to the spiritual role of the Supreme Pontiff and damages the unity of the Church, the Holy See explained, adding, the June 29 act “sows division” and “produces rifts and tensions in the Catholic community in China.”