New Archbishop of San Francisco appointed
Pope Benedict XVI has named Bishop Salvatore Cordileone the new Archbishop of San Francisco.
The appointment is certain to create shockwaves in a city known for homosexual activism. Recognised as a leading force behind the 2008 passage of Proposition 8, the ballot initiative that defined marriage as the union of a man and a woman, Archbishop-elect Cordileone was named chairman of the US bishops' Subcommittee for the Promotion and Defense of Marriage in 2011 by Cardinal Timothy Dolan.
In June this year he came into conflict with leaders of the Catholic Association for Gay and Lesbian (CALGM) ministries, who refused his request to take an oath pledging to uphold Church teachings regarding human sexuality. (CALGM is headquartered in Oakland, where Bishop Cordileone has been serving.)
Bishop Cordileone succeeds Archbishop George Niederauer, who has retired at age 76. Archbishop Niederauer found himself frequently facing opposition to Church teachings from gay-rights activists and from the high-profile statements of former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, a resident of the Archdiocese.
Catholic World News
Vatican approved new Chinese bishop missing
The Vatican had praised the approved ordination of a Chinese bishop, who is now missing after announcing his split from the state-run Catholic Patriotic Association during his ordination.
"The ordination of the Reverend Thaddeus Ma Daqin as Auxiliary Bishop of the Diocese of Shanghai on Saturday 7 July 2012 is encouraging and is to be welcomed," said a 10 July Vatican communique.
During the ordination ceremony, Bishop Ma revealed that he was quitting his posts within the government-controlled Catholic Patriotic Association which refuses to acknowledge the authority of the Pope.
The announcement by the 44-year-old native of Shanghai was made in front of several state officials and was seen by many as a rebuke to China's communist regime. The 1000 strong congregation in the city's St Ignatius Cathedral responded with rapturous applause.
Bishop Ma, however, has not been seen in public since. Various media outlets suggest he was whisked away by state officials following the ceremony.
UCA News reports that priests and nuns in Shanghai have since received a text message from Bishop Ma's cellphone claiming to be sent by him. It states that he was "mentally and physically exhausted" and needed "a break" to make "a personal retreat." It also claims he is residing in the Sheshan seminary near Shanghai.
The mystery surrounding Bishop Ma comes on the day the Vatican formally announced the excommunication of 48-year-old Fr Joseph Yue Fusheng following his illicit ordination as bishop of Harbin in north-east China on 6 July.
The note also stipulates that those licitly ordained Catholic bishops who took part in the ordination have "exposed themselves to the sanctions laid down by the law of the Church" and must now "give an account to the Holy See of their participation in that religious ceremony."