11 Jul 2012

Vatican condemns appointment of Chinese bishop

5:19 pm on 11 July 2012

The Vatican has condemned the appointment of a Chinese Catholic bishop without its approval.

In a move likely to strain already frayed relations with Beijing, the Vatican has refused to recognise the ordination of Reverend Joseph Yue Fusheng in Harbin.

In a statement, it said his elevation by a State church overseer was not blessed by the Pope and is therefore meaningless.

The statement was an escalation in a long-running dispute over the status of China's state-backed church, which rejects papal control, Reuters reports.

One of Rome's own newly-ordained bishops, Thaddeus Ma Daqin, is reported to be detained in a seminary in China.