The Vatican has expressed “surprise and regret” over the installation of the new Auxiliary Bishop of Jiangxi, a diocese not currently recognized by the Holy See.
A statement released by the Holy See Press Office on Saturday said the “installation ceremony” that took place on November 24 in Nanchang “has not taken place in conformity with the spirit of dialogue that exists between the Vatican parties and the Chinese parties and what has been stipulated in the Provisional Agreement on the Appointment of Bishops of 22 September 2018.”
Bishop Giovanni Peng Weizhao of Yujiang (Jiangxi Province) has been named Auxiliary Bishop of Jiangxi last week.
The Vatican statement said “the civil recognition of Bishop Peng was preceded … by prolonged and intense pressure by the local Authorities.”
It said the Holy See is waiting for “appropriate communication about the matter from the authorities,” adding that it expects that “similar episodes will not be repeated.”
The Vatican statement said it “reaffirms its complete willingness to continue the respectful dialogue concerning all of the matters of common interest.”
The Provisional Agreement had originally been signed by representatives of the Holy See and the People’s Republic of China on Sept. 22, 2018.
The agreement provided for a two-year period of application “ad experimentum.”
In October 2020, the validity of the agreement was extended for another two years, and again on 22 October 22, 2022, it was renewed for another two years.