China plans to ordain a pope-approved bishop Wednesday, but the Vatican and the Chinese government-controlled Catholic church are fighting over the guest list.

The ordination of Peter Luo Xuegang as coadjutor bishop of Yibin diocese has the blessing of the Vatican, a recent point of agreement in its decades-long rift with the state-backed church. The source of friction this time is the possible presence of an excommunicated bishop at the ceremony.

AsiaNews, the Vatican-affiliated news agency which closely covers the church in China, reported Friday that Paul Lei Shiyin was almost certain to take part because the government “will want to impress a ‘patriotic’ and ‘independent’ character on the ceremony.”

Church officials from the Yibin diocese and Sichuan province, where Yibin is located, on Tuesday declined to confirm whether Lei was invited. Lei is the president of the Catholic Patriotic Association, and a diocese official said unspecified members of the association would attend the ceremony.

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