DAILY CATHOLIC    Monday     May 4, 1998     vol. 9, no. 86

from a CATHOLIC perspective

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Articles provided through Catholic World News Service.
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          BEIJING (CWNews.com) - Communist Chinese officials said on Thursday that Pope John Paul II should not have invited two Chinese bishops to attend the month-long Synod on Asia because they are members of the state-run Catholic association and do not recognize the Pope's authority.

          China expresses regret over the Vatican's unauthorized appointment of two people as members of the Asian bishops' conference," Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhu Bangzao told a news briefing. He would not confirm that the government had refused to allow Bishop Matthias Duan Yinming and Bishop Joseph Xu Zhixuan permission to attend. The Italian news agency ANSA on Monday quoted Bishop Duan as saying the two bishops had been denied passports to attend the meeting because the Vatican had no diplomatic ties with China and had not discussed the issue with the state-run church.

          The two bishops are part of the Chinese Patriotic Catholic Association which eschews any relationship with the universal Catholic Church, including such doctrines as papal authority and the collegiality of bishops. The association, which appoints its own bishops without approval from the Holy Father, claims four million members, but the underground Church which remains loyal to Rome has as many as eight million members.

May 4, 1998       volume 9, no. 86


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