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Last Updated: Thursday, 30 November 2006, 08:42 GMT
China ordains new Catholic bishop
By Dan Griffiths
BBC News, Beijing

A service in 2005 by China's official church to consecrate a bishop in Shanghai
China does not recognise the Pope's authority
China's state-controlled Catholic Church has ordained a new bishop - without the consent of Pope Benedict.

The move is likely to underline the differences between the Vatican and the Chinese government.

Father Wang Renlei was ordained in a church in the eastern province of Jiangsu.

He is the third bishop this year to be ordained without the Vatican's approval, a move which will increase tensions between the two sides.

It will also undermine recent efforts to restore diplomatic ties between China and the Vatican, which have been severed since the 1950s.

Since then, China has organised its own Catholic church which it says has the right to appoint bishops, something the Vatican has always disputed.

The state-run Chinese Catholic Church has four million followers, but it is thought that millions more belong to underground organisations loyal to the Vatican.


SEE ALSO
China 'frees' underground bishop
26 Aug 06 |  Asia-Pacific
Chinese install second bishop
03 May 06 |  Asia-Pacific
China's tense links with the Vatican
08 Apr 05 |  Asia-Pacific
China's Catholics: Far from Rome
24 Dec 03 |  Asia-Pacific

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