Four of the six priests ordained on March 26 pose for a photo with relatives and friends after the ceremony. Four of the six priests ordained on March 26 pose for a photo with relatives and friends after the ceremony.

Illegitimate bishop ordains four priests in Yunnan

DALI, CHINA – A Chinese bishop who is not recognised by the Vatican has presided over the ordination of six priests despite warnings and criticism from within and outside China.

Bishop Joseph Ma Yinglin of Kunming officiated at the ceremony, which took place at the Sacred Heart of Jesus Church in the ancient city of Dali on March 26.

A local Church source, who asked not to be named, said three foreign priests were among the 16 concelebrants.

They were an American Maryknoll priest studying in Dali and two Korean Benedictine priests whose community makes donations to the Dali minor seminary.

“They came here upon learning the news of the ceremony. We had no reason for not letting them concelebrate,” said the source.

The new priests belong to the three ecclesiastical territories in southwestern Yunnan province – Dali diocese, Kunming diocese and Zhaotong apostolic prefecture.
When asked if any of them were unwilling to be ordained by the illegitimate bishop, the source said: “I don’t know but I saw they were happy.”

Hundreds of Catholics, mostly from various ethnic minorities in the area, appeared happy to welcome the new priests, the source noted.

Commenting on the incident, Mr Anthony Lam Sui-ki, senior researcher of Hong Kong diocese’s Holy Spirit Study Centre, said that Bishop Ma would now find it more diffi-cult to receive pardon from the Holy See after repeated violations of Church law.

His example “would encourage more opportunists [to] disregard Church principles”, said Mr Lam.

Before the ordination, some mainland bloggers had appealed to Bishop Ma to “repent and avoid making another mistake” while others said he was doing “a glorious deed for China”.  UCANEWS.COM


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