The authorities in China have named a new Catholic bishop - a move which will strain relations between Beijing and the Vatican. Father Wang Renlei will be ordained by the State-approved church on Thursday, a Chinese official said. There has been no comment from Rome yet. In May the Vatican excommunicated two bishops who were ordained by China. Pope Benedict XVI expressed his "deep displeasure" over the appointments. Beijing and the Vatican have been engaged in talks for some time with the aim of re-establishing relations, which were severed more than 50 years ago. China does not recognise the Pope's authority, insisting that all Chinese Catholics belong to a state-run church. China is often accused of religious oppression by human rights organisations. In August, Beijing released a bishop jailed for more than 10 years for being a member of the underground Roman Catholic Church, loyal to the Vatican. Many other followers of the underground Catholic Church have also received lengthy prison sentences. Buddhist monks and nuns as well as members of the indigenous Falun Gong spiritual movement have also suffered persecution.
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