VATICAN CITY — China will appoint a Catholic bishop approved by the Vatican today, just days after Pope Benedict XVI condemned the unilateral ordination of two bishops by Beijing, a Catholic news agency reported.
The Rome-based AsiaNews service, which specializes in coverage of China, said Saturday that Father Paul Pei Junmin, 37, would be consecrated in Shenyang. It quoted a Vatican source as saying Pei had the pope's approval and was "an excellent candidate from all points of view."
Vatican and Chinese officials could not be reached immediately for comment on the appointment.
On Thursday, the pope denounced the ordinations of the two bishops without his blessing, branding the move a "grave violation of religious freedom."
Church law prescribes automatic excommunication for the bishop consecrating the new prelate and the priest elevated to bishop without papal approval.