AS MANY AS 70 seminarians and teachers have been
expelled from China's national seminary for not attending bishops' ordinations last year that lacked papal approval.
The exact number expelled could not be confirmed
because vacancies were soon filled at the Chinese Catholic Theological and Philosophical Seminary in Beijing.
Sources said that during the ordination of bishops on January 6, paper signs saying "reserved for seminarians" were removed from the empty rows of pews in the front of the church before the liturgy.
More than 100 priest-teachers and seminarians refused to attend the controversial ordination of five bishops without papal mandate, the church sources added.
The people who boycotted the event were interrogated and classes were suspended afterward.
The ordinations were performed just hours before Pope John Paul II ordained 12 new bishops in St Peter's Basilica at the Vatican.