YIBIN, China -- With police officers and dogs monitoring the crowd at St. Mary's Church, Fr. Peter Luo Xuegang was ordained coadjutor bishop of Yibin Diocese in southwestern China's Sichuan province.
No phones, cameras or liquids were allowed in the venue, reported the Asian church news agency UCA News. Participants had to arrive three hours before the ordination began to go through security.
Luo had the approval of the Holy See, but an excommunicated bishop attended his ordination, despite a Vatican spokesman conveying the wish that "no illegitimate bishop will participate."
In recent years, many ordinations have followed the pattern of bishop candidates being elected by diocesan representatives, then being approved separately by the government-approved Bishops' Conference of the Catholic Church in China and the Holy See.
Luo, 47, is the third bishop ordained with both papal approval and government recognition this year.
Bishop John Chen Shizhong of Yibin, 95, presided over the Nov. 30 ceremony, attended by 61 priests, 35 nuns, 800 faithful, government officials and representatives of other religions.