In statement issued July 16, two days after the ordination, the Vatican
said it does not recognize Huang as bishop and that “he lacks the authority
to govern the Catholic community of the diocese.”
Regarding reports that several bishops participated in the ordination under
pressure, the Vatican said the Pope “once again deplores the manner in
which the church in China is being treated” and “reaffirms the right of Chinese
Catholics to be able to act freely.”
This was the second such excommunication in two weeks. On July 4, the
church excommunicated Fr. Paul Lei Shi-yin, who had been ordained a bishop in
Leshan, Sichuan on 29 June.
The Vatican praised bishops who didn’t take part in the ordination, adding
that “Equal appreciation is also due to those priests, consecrated persons
and members of the faithful who have defended their pastors, accompanying
them by their prayers at this difficult time and sharing in their deep
Eight Vatican-approved bishops took part in Huang’s ordination on 14 July,
though Liaoning Bishop Pei Junmin left the ceremony.
While in New York recently, Cardinal Joseph Zen Ze-kiun, the retired
bishop of Hong Kong, spoke of the standoff between Beijing and the Vatican as “a
war.” On July 13, Zen released to Hong Kong media a letter he wrote
to Chinese president Hu Jintao and premier Wen Jiabao in which he asked
Beijing to restrain civil servants who violate the country’s constitution and
help some “scum in the church” force bishops, priests and faithful to act
against their consciences.
The Catholic Justice and Peace Commission has also asked the Chinese
authorities to stop pressuring bishops who participated in the ordinations.