BEIJING -- China has ordained a bishop in the state-run Catholic church despite Vatican protests that he lacked papal approval.
The official China News Service said the Rev. Yue Fusheng was made bishop of the northeastern city of Harbin on Friday. The head of the official Chinese church, Bishop Fang Xingyao, presided at the ceremony attended by numerous bishops and several hundred faithful.
His appointment revived a war of words this week between China and the Vatican over the ordination of bishops, the most contentious issue dividing the nations that do not have formal relations.
Rome insists only the pope can appoint bishops, while China calls that interference. The Communist Party-controlled Patriotic Catholic Association ultimately determines appointments.
The Vatican has excommunicated bishops in past cases, though some return through an appeals process.