Msgr Jin Yangke, bishop of Ningbo, a 'good pastor, loved by his faithful'
by Pietro Liu

His official installation took place yesterday. He was already a bishop since 2012. The diocese of Ningbo, united and dynamic, has about 30,000 faithful, 29 priests and 30 nuns.


Ningbo (AsiaNews) - "A good pastor, loved by his faithful": this is how a Chinese Catholic describe Msgr. Francis Xavier Jin Yangke, who yesterday was officially installed in his diocese as bishop of Ningbo (Zhejiang).

His predecessor, Msgr. Matteo Hu Xiande died in 2017 and had already ordained Msgr. Jin who was not recognized by the government, as coadjutor bishop in 2012. One priest declared that "yesterday is a great happy event for the diocese: after more than eight years, the bishop has finally been recognized and can now carry out his functions as bishop in public".

The installation ceremony took place in the Ningbo Cathedral, dedicated to the Sacred Heart, and was presided over by Msgr. Giuseppe Ma Yinglin, president of the Council of Chinese bishops and bishop of Kunming (Yunnan).

The report of the local Patriotic Association proclaims that Msgr. Jin “solemnly swore to guide the priests and faithful of the diocese to respect the national constitution; maintain the unity of the motherland and social harmony; love the country and love religion; support the independent and self-managed Church; to join the path of Chinese Catholicism in China in achieving the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation, contributing to the Chinese dream”.

In reality, according to a priest present, Msgr. Jin was much less rhetorical. Immediately after the installation, he presided over the Mass. Given the limits imposed by the coronavirus emergency, 200 people participated in the celebration, including representatives of the faithful, family members of the bishop, official representatives, the Sisters of Purgatory, a local congregation. Also present were the priests of Ningbo and several priests from Hangzhou.

A nun pointed out that Msgr. Jin is "kind and caring, actively promotes friendship and unity among the priests and is deeply supported and loved" by all.

Bishop Jin Yangke was born in Cixi (Zhejiang) in January 1958. He studied in the regional seminary of Sheshan (Shanghai). He was ordained a priest on November 11, 1990. He later served in the diocese of Ningbo. Ordained coadjutor bishop in 2012, he led the diocese after the death of Msgr. Hu Xiande in 2017.

At present, the diocese of Ningbo has about 30,000 faithful, 29 priests and 30 nuns. The diocese is very united and vibrant.

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