Researcher Remarks 

When Will Fr. Gan Be Ordained the Bishop of Guangzhou?

     by Fr. Michael J. Sloboda, M.M.


     About 80 years ago in the USA, the editor of a newspaper in a big city sent a new reporter to cover a high-society wedding. When the novice reporter returned from the church, his editor asked, “Where is your story?” He replied, “There is no story.” The editor yelled, “What do you mean there is no story?” The reporter innocently replied, “The bride never arrived, so there is no story.” Little did he realize that the failure of a rich bride to show for her own wedding made the story immensely more newsworthy.

      The Holy See recently announced the appointment of Fr. Gan Junqiu (甘俊邱神父) to fill a vacancy as Bishop of the Diocese of Guangzhou in Guangdong (廣東廣州). The bishop-elect was born in 1964 and ordained in 1991. Serving as Chancellor of Guangzhou, his talents and good character are recognized by both the Holy See and the Chinese authorities.

      So when will he be ordained? There was talk of March 19, the Feast of St. Joseph, but it will not be so soon. The new date has not yet been set. Reports say there is an argument over which bishop should be the ordaining bishop and which bishops should concelebrate with him on the altar. If Bishop X imposed hands on Bishop Y in an earlier ordination without the approval of the Holy See, is it fitting to invite him to Bishop Gan’s ordination? An ordination, or a wedding, that gets postponed and postponed does not bode well for “living happily ever after.”

      Please keep the church in Guangzhou in your prayers. – Michael J. Sloboda, M.M.

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