The state-controlled Catholic Church in China recently appointed its second bishop (the first was in November)...without the consent of Pope Benedict XVI.
The last time this became a big deal was in the late eleventh century, when the Holy Roman Emperor and the Pope went eyeball-to-eyeball over who had the authority to invest bishops (among others) with their sacred authority. The HRE accused the pope of being a false monk and a traitor; the Pope accused the HRE of being corrupt and unfit to rule, and encouraged the emperor's subjects to revolt. And then shit got real: Barefoot pilgrimages in the Alps, penance, excommunication, anathema, damnation, accusations of devil-worship, secular revolt, martyrdom, and much, much more.
This time, the rhetorical salvos* have already begun: Benedict XVI is "deeply saddened" by the "violation of the norm of can. 1382 of the Code of Canon Law," and that the "consecrating Bishops have exposed themselves [sic, and /smirk/--.ed] to the grave canonical sanctions laid down by the law of the Church."
Let's pull up our chairs and watch the next round of "Quien Es Más Macho: El Papa o Los Otros?"
*Via Twitter. That's right, Ben16 is sending out tweets.
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