Another episcopal ordination after the renewal of the Sino-Vatican Agreement. But the bishop had already been designated by the Holy See for some time. The rite was "very sober and low-key".
Hongdong (AsiaNews) - Msgr. Pietro Liu Genzhu was ordained bishop of the diocese of Hongdong-Linfen (Shanxi) this morning. His appointment was recognized by the Holy See and the Chinese government.
Msgr. Liu had already been vicar general of Linfen since 2010. The diocese had no bishop since 2006, following the death of the then ordinary Msgr. Sun Yuanmo, although Msgr. Liu was the Holy See candidate for a long time. Today's is the second episcopal ordination after the renewal of the Sino-Vatican Agreement last October. The first was the ordination in Qingdao.
The news of his ordination was immediately released by the Patriotic Association and the Shanxi Bishops Council.
The ordination ceremony was presided over by Msgr. Paolo Meng Ningyou, bishop of Taiyuan and director of the Shanxi Patriotic Association. Concelebrants included several provincial bishops: Msgr. Wu Junwei of the diocese of Yuncheng; Msgr. Ding Lingbin, of the Diocese of Changzhi; Msgr, Ma Cunguo of the diocese of Shuozhou.
Fr. Yang Yu, deputy secretary general of the Council of Chinese bishops, announced the mandate of Msgr. Liu, on behalf of all Chinese bishops.
According to some faithful, the rite was "very sober and low-key". Many lay faithful were unable to attend the ceremony. The press release states that in respect of the Covid-19 prevention measures during the pandemic, "the ceremony followed the principle of simplicity and solemnity". 63 priests from the various dioceses of the Shanxi province concelebrated. 200 nuns and seminarians participated in the Mass.
Bishop Liu Genzhu was born on 12 October 1966 in Hongdong County (Shanxi). In 1991 he completed his studies in the provincial seminary of Shaanxi (Xian) and was ordained a priest in the same year. In June 2010, he was appointed vicar general of the diocese of Linfen. He was a member of the 9th Committee of the Patriotic Association of the Chinese Catholic Church, and deputy director of the 7th Patriotic Association of Shanxi Province.
According to the latest available statistics (2014), the Hongdong diocese has about 40 thousand faithful, with 16 parishes and a hundred chapels; about 50 priests are engaged in pastoral work there; a diocesan congregation of nuns works in the apostolate of catechesis and medical care.