July 4, 2011 - In a strongly worded statement, the Vatican has condemned the recent illicit ordination of a Chinese bishop without papal approval. Paul Lei Shiyin was ordained a bishop by the Chinese government backed Church on June 29th.
"The effects of the sanction which he has incurred through violation of the . . . Code of Canon Law remain in place," the Vatican added, referring to excommunication.
The Vatican noted that these ordinations not approved by the pope are actions that “sow division and produce rifts and tensions in the Catholic community in China.”
"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 statement said, adding it had "deeply saddened" Pope Benedict XVI.
"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 recognize him," a statement said.
Rome also highlighted that the Reverend in question had previously been turned down for ordination for reasons they said were “unacceptable and very grave.”
The Holy See said that, the ordination of Paul Lei Shiyin was divisive and looked set to dampen recently improved ties between the Vatican and China's Communist Party.
This strong statement from the Vatican also advises that if the Church in China wishes to become Catholic then they must follow the Church's doctrine and be in union with the pope.