WASHINGTON (June 2, 2006)— The Most Rev. Thomas G. Wenski, Bishop of Orlando, has written letters to Sen. Rick Santorum (R-PA ) and Rep. Phillip S. English (R-PA) in support of legislative resolutions those members of Congress have introduced denouncing the recent unauthorized ordinations of Catholic bishops by the People's Republic of China.
The April 30 ordination of Bishop Joseph Ma Yinglin of Kungmin and the May 3 ordination of Bishop Joseph Liu Xinghong of Anhui, arranged by the government-sponsored Chinese Catholic Patriotic Association (CPA), were not approved by the Vatican and immediately denounced by Pope Benedict XVI.
In a separate letter to National Security Advisor Stephen J. Hadley, Bishop Wenski writes that while "gradually improving relations between the People's Republic of China and the Holy See in recent years have enabled ordinations of bishops to go forward with the appropriate approval of the Vatican," the recent improper ordinations "have set back much of the progress lately achieved."
"While these are primarily matters of internal concern for the Catholic Church, they reflect a disturbing reversal of China's official approach to religious freedom. They thus become issues that properly concern our government in its efforts to promote human rights and religious freedom," Bishop Wenski wrote.
"As you may know, a resolution condemning China for these ordinations is circulating at this time in the House of Representatives. It would be helpful if the Administration could quietly interpret to the Chinese authorities the counter-productive effect that the CPA's interference in the internal life of the Catholic Church is having on improved relations between our two countries."
For copies of the letters written to Rep. English and Sen. Santorum, please visit: http://www.usccb.org/sdwp/international/BishopWenskitoRepEnglishandSenSantorum2.pdf
For a copy of the letter written to National Security Advisor Stephen J. Hadley, please visit: http://www.usccb.org/sdwp/international/LetterfromBishopWenskitoNSAHadleyonChinaOrdinations.pdf