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» 04/21/2010
CHINA – VATICAN
New, Vatican-approved Episcopal ordination in Jiangsu
by Wang Rui-Zhen Yuan
This is the second ordination in recent days. The Holy See recognises all the ordaining bishops, except for one. Joining the nation to mourn the victims of the Qinghia quake, Mass participants observe a moment of silence at the end of the service. No wine is served during the banquet that followed the ordination.

Nantong (AsiaNews) – Bishop Shen Bin of Haimen (Nantong) was ordained today as the new official bishop of the diocese of Haimen (Nantong), Jiangsu province, on Chinas east coast. The ceremony was held in the cathedral of Nantong City. His ordination has been approved by the Holy See. Following the event, which began at 8.30 am, all those present observed a moment of silence at 10 am in memory of Qinghai quake victims.

Mgr Shen is the second bishop to be recognised by the government and approved by the Holy See in four days. Last Sunday, Mgr Paul Meng Qinglu became the bishop of Hohhot.

Hitherto, Episcopal appointments in China had been held up for almost two years. The Haimen bishopric had been vacant since 2006 when Bishop Yu Chengcai passed away.

Mgr Fang Xinyao, bishop of Linyi, presided over the ceremony. Three other bishops from Jiangsu were present, namely Mgr Lu Xinping of Nanking, Mgr Xu Honggen of Suzhou and Wang Renlei of Xuzhou. All of them except Wang, who was ordained in November 2006 without papal approval, are lawfully in communion with the Holy See.  

Some 20 priests and two thousand faithful also took part in the celebration.

Speaking to AsiaNews, Mgr Shen said that his priorities include strengthening formation and social services. He hopes he can help priests and nuns deepen their knowledge of the Bible, as well as spirituality and culture. He also intends to help the laity better understand the Church and play a role in evangelisation. Likewise, the new bishop wants to help the poorest students get an education and set up charity groups to assist the poor, orphans, widows and disaster victims.

Mgr Shen, who is 40, has been a priest since 1996. For a long time, he was the vicar general to his predecessor.

Mass participants joined the nation in a silent prayer to mourn the people who died in the Qinghai earthquake. During the banquet that followed the service, wine was not served.

Some of those who attended the ceremony came away with the impression that the ordination was rushed. However, Bishop Shen said that the period that follows Easter is the best time for ordinations because the diocese in May is busy organising pilgrimage to Our Lady of Langshan, a local shrine, whilst the month of June tends to be too hot and humid.

The diocese of Haimen has a Catholic population of 30,000, and served by 9 priests and 21 nuns.


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See also
06/23/2010 CHINA
Haimen diocese to pray for Church unity in China
by Zhen Yuan
05/08/2010 CHINA - VATCAN
New bishop in Xiamen, approved by the Vatican. Present a bishop of Taiwan
by Zhen Yuan
06/07/2011 CHINA – VATICAN
Unlawful ordination of Hankou bishop postponed to unspecified date
by Jian Mei
07/04/2011 VATICAN - CHINA
The Holy See condemns Leshan ordination
by Bernardo Cervellera
05/20/2011 CHINA - VATICAN
New bishop of Yanzhou ordained with Holy See approval
by Jian Mei

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