New Chinese bishop has approval of Holy See

A step is taken in Sino-Vatican relations and the flock in China gain a shepherd.   Check out this Asia News story. 

All is ready for the ordination of the new bishop of Beijing

Only those invited will participate in tomorrow’s celebration, among security measures a ban on (foreign) media. The faithful reassured by papal approval.

Beijing (AsiaNews) – Everything is ready in the capital ahead of tomorrow ceremony for the ordination of the new bishop of Beijing, Msgr. Giuseppe Li Shan, who – according to various church sources – has full Holy See approval.

The ordination will begin a 9.00 am tomorrow morning in the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception (Nan Tang). Because political figures of note are among those present all of the guests have been asked to reach the church by 7.30 for security reasons. The number of the congregation is limited and has been equally distributed among representatives of the bishops, clergy, religious and lay.  In order to take part in the ceremony many priests and seminarians have been in the capital for days, travelling from Shanxi, Hebei, Guangdong. Journalists are not being allowed to attend the event; but it is highly probable that the ban only regards foreign press, while state agencies will be permitted entry.

According to AsiaNews sources, the principal ordinant will be Msgr. Giovanni Fang Xingyao of Linyi (Shandong).  Msgr. Paolo Pei Junmin of Liaoning will also take part in the celebration. Both prelates (54 and 38) are part of the new generation of bishops approved by the Holy See.

In recent days numerous faithful from both the Underground and Official Church have wondered if Msgr. Li Shan had Vatican approval, or if the tradition of Fu Tieshan, the patriotic bishop who died in April this year would be continued.  Church sources in Beijing reassure that the ordination of Msgr. Li has papal approval.

Up until now Msgr. Li Shan has remained on spiritual retreat which traditionally precedes ordinations.

Msgr. Giuseppe Li Shan, 43, is considered by all to be a true pastor and a man of faith, capable of relating to the faithful and the political authorities.  From Beijing, he is part of a family with a long Catholic tradition.  He has never travelled abroad, not even to study.


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  1. RE: the ban on journalists.

    AP Television News broadcast images related to the ceremony… I haven’t seen them though, and I don’t know if they were shot by AP TV itselfd or by a local channel and then shared.

  2. Domenico says:

    I wonder what missal is used in China. In the past I heard that the (official) Catholic Church was very traditional, using Latin prayers, not receiving the VC II. But I really do not know.

  3. L_D says:

    I had a friend from China who had been a seminarian over there and he was fluent in Latin and Greek and was a devotee of the forma extraordinaria. I never really asked much about what it was like over there though..

  4. L_D says:

    Doesn’t really answer your question but I’ve been told that there are lots of traditionalists in South Korea. A friend of mine from that country says that Koreans (and Asians in general) are very tradition-minded and for many the enculturation agenda is seen as a disgrace and a diminishing of the Church’s credibility. I don’t know how true this is but it does sound plausible at least. Seems like an interesting topic for research.

  5. Holy Family Parishoner says:


    The priest ministering to the Korean community in Columbus is assigned to our parish. He spent three years here before going back just two weeks ago. While here, our pastor taught him to say the traditional Mass. The parish’s going away present for him was a Roman set of gold vestments.

    His replacement to the Korean community has also been attending our Sunday traditional Mass. He has been distributing communion. I’m not sure yet if he is also being trained to say the traditional Mass.

  6. Minnie says:

    Hello from Shanghai. The open churches use a Vatican-approved Chinese-language missal dating back to the early 90s. The missal was put together in Hong Kong, mostly, with input from Mainland folks with an obvious interest in it. The Chinese government only allowed the use of the vernacular in in 1992 or 93 (I’d need to check). There’s an interesting story behind that shift, but I’m not the one to tell it.

    Anyway, the news on Beijing is great. As a matter of fact, though, the Beijing ordination follows an ordination in south China last week where the Pope’s approval was openly acknowledged. The diocese of Guiyang. My Shanghai comrade Adam Minter, a really great Catholic journalist, covered it over on his blog. The blog is called Shanghai Scrap.

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