China installs bishop without Vatican approval

China's official Catholic church on Wednesday installed a bishop without Vatican approval, the second in three days, a move that may hinder talks to re-establish ties severed after communists took control of China in 1949.

The Chinese Patriotic Catholic Association ordained Liu Xinhong as bishop at the St. Joseph's Church in the eastern province of Anhui.

There was no immediate reaction from the Vatican which traditionally appoints its own bishops. China's insistence on naming bishops is a key sticking point in talks to re-establish diplomatic ties.

A man who answered the phone at the church said the ceremony, which several hundred attended, had finished. He hung up when asked for his name.

Hong Kong's Cable TV showed Liu, dressed in a yellow robe, bowing his head to receive a yellow head piece from a clergyman.

The footage also showed a procession of people dressed in white and red vestments filing into a gray church, which the station's reporter said was guarded by plainclothes police. The church was decorated with red banners and balloons.

A line of green city buses were parked across the church, and priests and other invited guests were shown stepping out of the vehicles.

The TV reporter said that two large TV screens were set up outside the church for the faithful who were not allowed inside to attend the ceremony.

On Sunday, China's official church ordained Ma Yinglin as a bishop in the southwestern province of Yunnan, reports the AP.


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