The Vatican said on Saturday that Chinese authorities had violated the terms stipulated in its provisional agreement on the appointment of bishops. Source: CNA.
A statement released on Saturday said that “the Holy See noted with surprise and regret” that Bishop John Peng Weizhao had been installed as an “auxiliary bishop of Jiangxi”, a diocese that is not recognised by the Vatican.
Bishop Peng’s installation ceremony in Nanchang “did not occur in accordance with the spirit of dialogue … and what was stipulated in the Provisional Agreement on the Appointment of Bishops, on September 22, 2018,” the statement said.
It also noted reports that “prolonged and heavy pressure from local authorities” preceded the installation.
“The Holy See hopes that similar episodes will not be repeated, remains awaiting appropriate communications on the matter from the authorities, and reaffirms its full readiness to continue the respectful dialogue concerning all matters of common interest,” it said.
The boundaries of the “Diocese of Jiangxi” were drawn by Chinese authorities without Vatican approval.
Bishop Peng, on the other hand, was legitimately appointed by Pope Francis in 2014 and secretly ordained as an underground bishop of Yujiang — something for which he was arrested by Chinese authorities and held in custody for six months, according to Asia News.
The Chinese Catholic Patriotic Association publicised on its official website that Bishop Peng’s installation ceremony occurred on November 24 and that he swore an oath to “guide Catholicism to adapt to socialist society” and contribute to the “dream of the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation.”
Vatican says China violated terms of agreement with bishop installation (By Courtney Mares, CNA)