Beijing (AsiaNews) – Vicar general Father Joseph Zhang Yinlin of Anyang (Henan), 44, was ordained Coadjutor Bishop of his diocese today, 4 August at the Cathedral of Anyang. This was the first ordination after that of Bishop Ma Daqin of Shanghai in July 2012.
Both ordinations are with a papal mandate and recognised by the Chinese government.
Coadjutor Bishop Zhang was ordained by his 90-year-old Bishop Thomas Zhang Huaixin of Anyang. Assisting the liturgy were three bishops, all recognised by the Holy See and the Chinese government - Bishops Shen Bin of Haimen (Jiangsu), Yang Yongqiang of Zhoucun (Shandong) and Wang Renlei of Xuzhou (Jiangsu), who was recently legitimised.
More than 70 priests and 150 sisters took part in the event. More than 1,300 faithful participated. Some watched over the big screen outside the cathedral, despite the rain.
As in other ordinations, security was tight, today and yesterday.
In the liturgy, Coadjutor Bishop Zhang told the congregation that he was very touched, thanked God for choosing him, a simple and weak servant. He also thanked the ordinary Bishop Zhang for nurturing, guiding him patiently for years, and now presiding at his ordination.
In April 2015, he, as the only candidate, was elected as candidate to be coadjutor bishop of Anyang diocese.
A priest of Anyang diocese told AsiaNews that the ordination liturgy was “sacred, solemn, peaceful and smooth. It is a special day and full of graces.”
Born on 27 March 1971, in Linzhou city (Henan), Bishop Zhang studied at the Central and Southern Regional Seminary in Wuhan from 1992 to 1996. On 17 August 1996, he was ordained a priest at the age of 25. Since then, he has assisted Bishop Zhang in Church affairs.
Now, Anyang diocese has two bishops, 36 priests, 120 sisters, 4 seminarians and about 50,000 Catholics.
From 1882 (as apostolic vicariate) until 1949, the diocese was run by the PIME Fathers.