Catholic World News: PRC Government to Force New Bishops on Registered Catholic Church in Sichuan

March 21, 2005

Chinese government officials plan to appoint two Catholic bishops to dioceses in Sichuan province without Holy See approval, Catholic World News (CWN) reports. The planned appointments would be a major step backward, since in recent years the Chinese government has made progress toward religious freedom by accepting some Holy See influence in the selection of bishops for the registered Catholic Church. The prospective bishops would preside over dioceses in Leshan and Chengdu in Sichuan province, where they currently serve as priests. The faithful in both dioceses, who number about 140,000, are said to reject both clerics owing to their open political maneuvering. Catholic Church sources elsewhere generally confirm the CWN account.