In a positively medieval turn of events, the state’s candidate for bishop was accepted by the Church.
The Holy See approved the ordination of a new archbishop for the Chinese city of Guangzhou, Vatican officials confirm. Archbishop Joseph Gan Junqiu was installed in the southern city on December 4, in a ceremony that took place under tight security. Government officials barred the media from the ordination, and the guest list was controlled by the Catholic Patriotic Association.
However, the new archbishop made a point of proclaiming his loyalty to the Holy See. As the ceremony concluded, Archbishop Gan reminded the faithful that the universal Church is “one, holy, catholic, and apostolic,” the AsiaNews service reported.
The new archbishop was chosen by the Catholics of Guangzhou late last year, and his selection was quickly approved by the Vatican. But the government-backed Patriotic Association delayed his installation for nearly a year by blocking approval by the Council of Chinese Bishops.
Having finally accepted Archbishop Gan, the Patriotic Association sought to control the ceremony. A spokesman for the Patriotic Association, Lu Guocun, said that the organization did not know whether the Vatican had approved the ordination, and “really doesn’t concern itself with such things.”