China prepares to ordain 7 more bishops amid rift

July 22, 2011 - 1:00 AM

BEIJING (AP) — China's state-controlled Catholic church is preparing to ordain seven more bishops in spite of a deepening rift with the Vatican over the recent ordinations lacking papal approval.

The state-run China Daily newspaper reported Friday that the vice chairman of the Chinese Catholic Patriotic Association said local churches in seven dioceses were getting ready to ordain bishops.

The report said Rev. Joseph Guo Jincai did not indicate when the ordinations would take place.

A spokesman for the association did not immediately respond to a faxed request for comment.

The Vatican insists that the pope has the sole right to appoint bishops. Beijing's Communist leaders see that position as foreign interference.