Around a dozen protesters marched to the de-facto Chinese embassy in Hong Kong today following reports that a Chinese bishop Thaddeus Ma Daqin had been detained in his seminary after publicly quitting the Chinese state-sanctioned Catholic Church upon his ordination by the Vatican. On his ordination as auxiliary bishop of Shanghai, Ma publicly quit his posts in the state-run Catholic Patriotic Association, which oversees the church in China but which is not recognised by the Vatican.

Patrick Poon a catholic diocese member and human rights activist spoke out, and said it was the church that has authority the church and not the government.


"It's really a very obvious way of cracking down on Catholic bishops who doesn't, who won't, listen to the Catholic Patriotic Association, and the authorities. So we can't accept this, because according to the cannon law of the Catholic church, it's the Pope who has supreme authority to elect bishop and appoint bishops and also to ordain bishops. So we can't accept that the Catholic church in China now be under the Chinese government's control to break this rule."

The incident is an escalation in a long-running dispute over the status of China's state-backed church, which rejects papal control. Beijing and the Vatican differ over who has the authority to appoint bishops. However in response to this development The Vatican released a statement, which said that Mr Daqin's ordination was "encouraging.

Written and Presented by Ann Salter