Aleteia logoAleteia logo
Aleteia
Sunday 19 September |
Our Lady of La Salette
home iconSpirituality
line break icon

First Chinese Bishop Since 2012 Ordained in China with Vatican Approval

Henan Catholic via AP

Zoe Romanowsky - published on 08/08/15

A hopeful sign, but relations between Rome and the Chinese government are still strained

While the Chinese government has been forcibly removing crosses from churches in the province of in Zhejiang, and persecuting local Christian leaders there, news outlets this week reported that a diocese in central China has ordained China’s first Catholic bishop since 2012. 

The Rev. Joseph Zhang Yinlin was named coadjutor bishop of Anyang in Henan province. Both AsiaNews and Ucanews report that the Vatican approved Tuesday’s ordination, which may signal "a return to the formula under which Chinese authorities, who claim the sole right to appoint bishops, name candidates that are then tacitly accepted by the Vatican." An article in the New York Times reports that Zhang’s consecration was announced by the official church in China.

The relationship between the Catholic Church and the Chinese government remains strained, but the Associated Press notes that the ordination marks the first appointment of a new Chinese bishop under Pope Francis, who has made a point of conveying messages of friendship to China and the nation’s leaders.

According to the Henan Catholic church’s official website, 75 priests, 120 nuns, and more than 1,500 faithful attended Zhang’s ordination at Anyang’s Sacred Heart Cathedral. Three other bishops who participated in the ceremony were also government-appointed and Vatican-approved, according to AsiaNews and Ucanews. Officials from the official Catholic Patriotic Association and the central government reportedly also attended.

The web site quoted Zhang, who is 43, as saying he would respect China’s constitution and work to "maintain national unification and social stability and unity in order to contribute to the building of a moderately prosperous society" —echoing standard Communist Party slogans.

Security was tight at the ordination, with hundreds of police and security agents on site, carefully scrutinizing attendees. 

Bernardo Cervellera, AsiaNews’ editor, wrote that Tuesday’s "calm" ordination was more a factor of the Anyang diocese’s good government relations than of any significant shift in relations between the Vatican and Beijing.

"It would be too much to attribute the ceremony’s smoothness to some signals between China and the Vatican or to a lessening of tensions or better relations," Cervellera wrote.

Support Aleteia!

If you’re reading this article, it’s thanks to the generosity of people like you, who have made Aleteia possible.

Here are some numbers:

  • 20 million users around the world read Aleteia.org every month
  • Aleteia is published every day in seven languages: English, French, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Polish, and Slovenian
  • Each month, readers view more than 50 million pages
  • Nearly 4 million people follow Aleteia on social media
  • Each month, we publish 2,450 articles and around 40 videos
  • We have 60 full time staff and approximately 400 collaborators (writers, translators, photographers, etc.)

As you can imagine, these numbers represent a lot of work. We need you.

Support Aleteia with as little as $1. It only takes a minute. Thank you!

Daily prayer
And today we celebrate...




Top 10
1
ANMOL RODRIGUEZ
Domitille Farret d'Astiès
Attacked with acid as a baby, Anmol Rodriguez overcomes and inspi...
2
Kathleen N. Hattrup
Pope considers what to do with pro-abortion Catholic politicians
3
ARGENTINE CHILDREN
Esteban Pittaro
Argentine “Mother Teresa” was a former model and actress who embr...
4
RESURRECTION
Philip Kosloski
Your body is not a “shell” for your spirit
5
Kathleen N. Hattrup
On same-sex unions, Pope says Church doesn’t have power to change...
6
PIER GIORGIO FRASSATI
Cerith Gardiner
12 Habits of Blessed Pier Giorgio Frassati that every young adult...
7
Visalia CHURCH
J-P Mauro
The largest Catholic parish church in the US will soon be in Cali...
See More
Newsletter
Get Aleteia delivered to your inbox. Subscribe here.