Vatican and Hong Kong cardinals have criticised the Beijing government-backed Chinese Catholic Patriotic Association for organising the ordination of a bishop in northeastern China.
The Vatican said in a statement on 24 November 2010 that the ordination was a grave violation of the freedom of religion after China's State-backed Roman Catholic Church grouping ordained a bishop without having obtained the approval of Pope Benedict XVI.
There was strong security on 20 November when the Rev Guo Jincai was ordained at the Pingquan church in Chengde city, with dozens of police blocking the building and denying entrance to reporters.
But worshippers said there was also an air of festivity, with colourful banners and traditional Chinese lanterns hanging outside the church and worshippers posing for photos.
The Catholic Patriotic Association is the body of the Chinese Catholic Church, recognised by the government, which does not allow direct Vatican authority to obtain in the country, because the Vatican is a city state and its jurisdiction would be seen as violating China's national and territorial integrity.
[With acknowledgements to ENI. Ecumenical News International is jointly sponsored by the World Council of Churches, the Lutheran World Federation, the World Communion of Reformed Churches and the Conference of European Churches.]