China revokes Shanghai Catholic bishop's title in challenge to Vatican

Christopher Bodeen, The Associated Press

BEIJING, China - In a fresh challenge to the Vatican, China has revoked the title of a new Catholic bishop in Shanghai.

Ma Daqin had angered Chinese officials by dropping out of the government agency that oversees the country's officially sanctioned church.

He was jointly named for the post in a rare consensus between Beijing and the Vatican.

But he has been confined to a seminary since he announced his intention to drop out of the Chinese Catholic Patriotic Association during his July 7 ordination as auxiliary bishop.

The move by 44-year-old Ma was seen as challenging China's attempts to run the country's Catholic church independently of the Vatican.

A Shanghai church official said the decision by Chinese officials to revoke Ma's title was announced at an internal meeting this week. He said no reason was given for the revocation.