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The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

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Chinese church to skirt Vatican

China's state-run Roman Catholic Church said June 23 that it plans to ordain more than 40 bishops without Pope Benedict XVI's approval.

For the last 50 years, China's 12 to 15 million Catholics have been divided between the state-run church and an "underground" church of members loyal to the pope.

Recent years saw the two groups agreeing on bishops, but last November Joseph Guo Jincai was ordained bishop of Chengde without papal approval — something the Vatican called a "sad episode."


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