A statement made by the Vatican on Monday declared that unverified reports of bishop ordinations taking place within the so-called “underground Church” in China had neither the authorization of the Holy See, nor had they been officially communicated.
“The Holy See has not authorized any ordination, nor has it been officially informed of such events. Should such episcopal ordinations have occurred, they would constitute a grave violation of canonical norms,” the Nov. 7 communique read.
Signed by Director of the Holy See Press Office, Greg Burke, the statement referred to recent unsubstantiated reports that, without authorization from the Pope, the ordination of some bishops took place recently in the so-called “underground Church” in Continental China.
As the statement read: “In recent weeks, there has been a series of reports regarding some episcopal ordinations conferred without Papal Mandate of priests of the unofficial community of the Catholic Church in Continental China.”
“The Holy See hopes that such reports are baseless,” it continued. “If not, it will have to await reliable information and sure documentation before adequately evaluating the cases.”
“However, it is reiterated that it is not licit to proceed with any episcopal ordination without the necessary Papal Mandate, even by appealing to particular personal beliefs.”
The announcement was made amid recent reports of a possible agreement between the Holy See and China concerning the appointment of Chinese bishops.
Read more at Catholic News Agency.