The director of the Holy See Press Office, Greg Burke, has issued the following statement:
“Some journalists have inquired about the Holy See’s position regarding both the recent episcopal ordinations at Chengdu and Xichang, and the Ninth Assembly of Chinese Catholic Representatives, regarding which there are reports that it is to take place before the end of the present month of December. In this regard, I am in a position to state the following.
For quite some time, the position of the Holy See regarding these two kinds of events, which involve aspects of the Church’s doctrine and discipline, is well known.
The presence of a Bishop at these two episcopal ordinations, whose canonical position is still being examined by the Apostolic See following his illegitimate ordination, has caused unease for all concerned and has disturbed Chinese Catholics. The Holy See understands and shares their sorrow.
Regarding the Ninth Assembly, the Holy See will make a judgment based on proven facts. In the meantime, the Holy See is certain that all Catholics in China anxiously await positive signals, which will help them to place their trust in the dialogue between the civil authorities and the Holy See and to hope for a future of unity and harmony”.