VATICAN CITY (AP) -- The world's cardinals are meeting at the Vatican to discuss religious freedom and other issues amid a new dispute with China over an illicit ordination that threatens delicate Rome-Beijing relations.
Pope Benedict XVI summoned the cardinals for a day of reflection ahead of a ceremony Saturday to create 24 new cardinals whose primary job is to elect a new pope.
As he arrived Friday for the meeting, Hong Kong Cardinal Joseph Zen said China's planned ordination of a bishop who doesn't have the pope's approval is illegitimate, shameful and uncivilized.
The Vatican warned China on Thursday that efforts at reconciliation would be set back if bishops loyal to the pope are forced to attend the ordination. China said Friday the ordination was going ahead.