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China group fires Catholic bishop

Dec. 12, 2012 at 3:11 PM

BEIJING, Dec. 12 (UPI) -- China's official state-recognized Catholic church has fired Bishop Ma Daqin, who was named a co-adjutor bishop in Shanghai in July, officials say.

Joseph Liu Yuanlong, vice chair of the Chinese Catholic Patriotic Association, said the standing committee decided to revoke Daquin's consecration as bishop at a two-day meeting, UCANews reported. The decision became public Monday.

Daquin announced his resignation from the association when he was consecrated in July and has reportedly been in retreat in a monastery since then. The standing committee said he kept a bishop recognized by the Chinese church but not by the Vatican from laying hands on him.

While some priests and bishops in China are recognized by the Vatican, it does not regard the association as part of the Roman Catholic Church. The Chinese government began the association in 1957 to act as the state-sanctioned representative of China's Catholics.

The church says that only Pope Benedict XVI has the power to name and dismiss bishops.

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