Beijing (AsiaNews) – Bishop Joseph Martin Wu Qinjing was installed to work openly as the bishop of Zhouzhi, Shaanxi Province, today, on July 10 at 9 am at the Cathedral of Immaculate Heart of Mary of Zhouzhi.
Bishop Wu, appointed by the Holy Father, is now recognized by the Chinese government and by the Chinese Catholic Patriotic Association and the government-sanctioned bishops’ council (Bishops’ Conference of the Catholic Church in China).
Bishop Dang Mingyan of Xi'an and Bishop John Baptist Yang Xiaoting of Yulin, originally from Zhouzhi, as well as about 70 priests attended and concelebrated.
The installation took place before the Mass and in front of the altar. Bishop Yang, vice president of the bishops’ council, chaired the ceremony, and Bishop Dang handed over the mitre and the staff to Bishop Wu, according to a participating priest in the liturgy. Bishop Wu "looked calm and sober today”, the priest said.
Father Li Hui of government-sanctioned bodies read the approval letter of the bishops’ council.
In 2005, Bishop Wu was appointed by the Holy See as the bishop of Zhouzhi. As he was under pressures from the Chinese government, he was quietly ordained as the bishop of Zhouzhi. The ordination was made known in 2007. He was then restricted at the minor seminary in Xi’an city. Later, he was allowed to move about in the city, and occasionally returned to Zhouzhi. His priests and crowds of faithful constantly visited him in Xi’an.
However, several priests of Zhouzhi were absent from the installation.
Born on Nov. 11, 1968, Wu entered the minor seminary of Zhouzhi, and then the Regional Seminary of Sheshan, Shanghai. In 1995, he graduated from the seminary, and was ordained a priest by Bishop Yang Guangyan of Zhouzhi in 1996. He was a parish pastor before teaching at the Shaanxi Seminary in 1998. In August 2000, he studied in the United States and specialized in liturgy, spirituality and spiritual direction. In 2005, he returned to China.
In 2005, he was ordained the bishop of Zhouzhi. In September 2007, the police took him away and placed him under house arrest in Xi’an. After 10 years of his appointment, his installation took place on July 10, 2015. From now on, he can work openly.