The president and two vice presidents of China’s episcopal conference, which is not recognized by the Holy See, have traveled to the United States as part of an effort to reconcile with the Holy See, according to a UCA News report.
In his 2007 letter to China’s Catholics, Pope Benedict stated that
the present College of Catholic Bishops of China cannot be recognized as an Episcopal Conference by the Apostolic See: the “clandestine” Bishops, those not recognized by the Government but in communion with the Pope, are not part of it; it includes Bishops who are still illegitimate, and it is governed by statutes that contain elements incompatible with Catholic doctrine.
Two of the prelates, Bishops Joseph Ma Yinglin and Vincent Zhan Silu, were ordained bishops without the approval of the Holy See. The third, Bishop John Baptist Yang Xiaoting, was ordained with the approval of both the government and the Holy See.
The prelates have delivered lectures during their 10-day US visit, which concludes on September 25.
“At each stop they have professed their love for the Holy Father, their solidarity with the universal Church, and their heartache over the obstacles to realizing the prayer of Christ in Gethsemane that they all be one,” said John Worthley, a former Seton Hall University official, who added that the prelates “are seeking the help of the American Church in the reconciliation effort.”