By UCA News
The “open” Church authority in China plans to ordain a new bishop in southwestern Sichuan province on November 30, the feast of St. Andrew.
Father Peter Luo Xuegang, who has obtained Vatican approval, is to be ordained Coadjutor Bishop of Yibin on the 20th anniversary of his priesthood.
Vatican-approved Bishop John Chen Shizhong, 95, will consecrate him at the Blessed Sacrament Cathedral in Yibin city, local Church sources said.
However, the sources said they were worried that Father Paul Lei Shiyin, who was excommunicated for his ordination as Bishop of Leshan without papal mandate on June 29, will participate in the ordination rite.
Next week’s ordination is expected to be the first since the Holy See excommunicated Fr Lei and another mainland priest, who were consecrated as bishops without papal mandate in June and July.
Fr Lei is the head of the Catholic Patriotic Association and the Church Affairs Committee of Sichuan province. “So he is very likely to take part in the episcopal ordination that is recognition by the government,” Church sources anticipated.
Fr Luo, 47, is a nephew of Bishop Matthew Luo Duxi of Leshan, who died in 2009. He was ordained a priest of Leshan on November 30, 1991, and was seconded to serve in Yibin diocese in May 2009. He was elected coadjutor bishop candidate with 14 out of 17 votes on January 9, 2010.
Fr Luo is the chairman of the Catholic Patriotic Association of Yibin city and vice chair of the provincial Church Affairs Committee.