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CORRECTED: LEAD: China set to ordain 2nd bishop in less than a week.

HONG KONG, May 2 Kyodo

China will ordain a second Catholic bishop in less than a week on Wednesday without seeking the Vatican's approval, local media quoted the leader of the state-sanctioned Chinese Catholic church as saying Tuesday.

Liu Bainian, vice chairman of the Chinese Patriotic Catholic Association, was quoted as saying China needs more bishops and it cannot wait for the Vatican's approval.

''China does not have diplomatic ties with the Vatican, and we do not have the right channel to communicate,'' Liu said. ''There are some 40 dioceses in lack of bishops. We can't wait.''

He said if the Vatican does not oppose the ordination, the relationship between the two states can ''step forward.''

China will ordain Liu Xinhong, church administrator in Wuhu of Anhui Province, as bishop, the South China Morning Post reported Tuesday. Ma Yinglin was ordained bishop of Kunming in Yunnan Province on Sunday.

The paper quoted Cardinal Joseph Zen, the outspoken head of Hong Kong's Roman Catholic diocese, as saying diplomatic negotiations between the Vatican and Beijing should be put on hold because of Beijing's appointment of bishops without Vatican approval.

Zen declined to comment Tuesday about Liu's ordination, but issued a statement on the website of a church publication accusing the association of ordaining Ma through pressure, threats and deceit.

''This action (that) has caused serious damage to the Ecclesial Communion has created an irregular station for Fr. Ma, which will not be corrected in a short time,'' Zen's statement said.

It added that the ordination has '' also destroyed the atmosphere of mutual trust'' between the Vatican and Beijing.
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Publication:Asian Economic News
Geographic Code:9CHIN
Date:May 8, 2006
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