Report: China Now Appoints Catholic Bishops Without Vatican Approval

Report: China Now Appoints Catholic Bishops Without Vatican Approval

ROME — The Chinese Communist Party has been naming Catholic bishops in the country without prior consultation with the Vatican, The Pillar reported this week.

The Vatican never revealed the contents of its 2018 deal with the CCP on the appointment of bishops but it was generally assumed that the Church had relinquished some of its unilateral authority to name prelates in China.

Now it would appear that at least in practice the Vatican has surrendered to the CCP all its authority to appoint bishops.

In the cases of last fall’s consecration of Bishop Thomas Chen Tianhao to the Diocese of Qingdao and last week’s ordination of Francis Cui Qingqi to lead the Diocese of Hankou-Wuhan, the announcements were made by the state-controlled Chinese Patriotic Catholic Association (CPCA) “without any prior announcement from Rome,” The Pillar observed, and only subsequently confirmed by the Vatican.

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