The Vatican has condemned the appointment of a Chinese Catholic bishop without its approval.
In a move likely to strain already frayed relations with Beijing, the Vatican has refused to recognise the ordination of Reverend Joseph Yue Fusheng in Harbin.
In a statement, it said his elevation by a State church overseer was not blessed by the Pope and is therefore meaningless.
The statement was an escalation in a long-running dispute over the status of China's state-backed church, which rejects papal control, Reuters reports.
One of Rome's own newly-ordained bishops, Thaddeus Ma Daqin, is reported to be detained in a seminary in China.