Relations between the Vatican and Beijing nose-dived this week as Chinese authorities restricted the movements of a bishop who announced at his ordination that he was cutting ties with the government-sanctioned Patriotic Association.
Fr Thaddeus Ma Daqin was ordained an auxiliary bishop in Shanghai on Saturday with the approval of both Beijing and Rome. After his dramatic declaration, which was greeted with cheers by some members of the congregation, he was taken away by "unidentified persons".
Bishop Ma is in Sheshan seminary and is unable to carry out his episcopal duties, which meant he was not allowed to say his first episcopal Mass at the cathedral on Sunday. AsiaNews reported that he was being confined there for a forced period of "rest" after his announcement.
Above: Bishop Thaddeus Ma Daqin at St Ignatius Cathedral in Shanghai before he was taken away to a seminary for a period of enforced 'rest'. Photo: CNS/ UCANews.