Chinese Catholic bishops face excommunication
By The Washington Post
VATICAN CITY , May 7, 2006 ( www.kentucky.com - The Vatican said yesterday that two bishops ordained by China's government-controlled Catholic Church this week faced excommunication and warned that their elevation endangered a lengthy dialogue designed to restore Vatican relations with China and to regularize Catholic worship in the country.
Pope Benedict XVI feels "deep displeasure" that the Chinese Church ordained the men without his permission, Vatican spokesman Joaquin Navarro-Valls said in a statement. "So relevant an act in the life of the Church as a bishop's ordination has been done in both cases without respecting the needs of communion with the pope," he said.
The ordinations and the sharp Vatican response marked a sudden chill in the relations between the papacy and the Communist government in Beijing after painstaking efforts to end a half-century of hostility.
Excommunication excludes the offender from Holy Communion and other sacraments and prevents the person from holding any church office.
Only One Church in China, Says Cardinal Zen