A bishop abducted by the Religious Affairs Bureau to force him to participate in an Episcopal ordination not sanctioned by the Holy See was able to escape and is now in hiding until the ritual is performed. Mgr Li Liangui of Cangzhou (Xianxian) was detained along with Mgr Peter Feng Xinmao, bishop of Hengshui, and taken to Xuzhou (Jiangsu) to take part in the ordination of Fr Wang Renlei as bishop.
Both prelates were taken away by car on the pretext of seeing some property owned by the Church in Tianjin. Instead they found themselves in Xuzhou, under guard. In a moment of distraction, Mgr Li was able to elude officials from the Religious Affairs Bureau and escape.
The incident is symptomatic of how much bishops in the official Church are unwilling to put up with government interference in sacramental and Episcopal issues.
The Episcopal ordination took place without the approval of the Holy See anyway. In Xuzhou’s Sacred Heart Cathedral, Fr Wang Renlei, 36, became an auxiliary bishop of the diocese in a ceremony celebrated at 8 am.
However, there were some glitches in the event. Mgr Qian Yurong, 94, the bishop of the diocese, who was supposed to preside over the ordination, remained seated throughout the ceremony.
Said to be gravely ill, he is one of the few bishops in the official Church not in communion with the Holy See. He has not reconciled with the Pope and well-known for his pro-government positions.
Cardinal Zen denounces ordination: Episcopal ordination in Xuzhou is “indecent and astounding"
Today’s illegitimate ordination in Xuzhou was done with “indecent methods, almost unimaginable”. It is “astounding because no one could expect such a thing”, Card Joseph Zen Ze-kiun, bishop of Hong Kong, told AsiaNews speaking about the illegitimate Episcopal ordination of Fr Wang Renlei.