05/08/2010, 00.00
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New bishop in Xiamen, approved by the Vatican. Present a bishop of Taiwan

by Zhen Yuan
Msgr. Cheng, bishop emeritus of Taipei attends. Also present illegitimate Bishop Zhan Silu . The Diocese of Xiamen has long cultivated relationships with the Church in Taiwan. AsiaNews interview with the new bishop, Mgr. Cai.

Xiamen (AsiaNews) - With the approval of the Holy See, Mgr. Cai Bingrui was ordained bishop of Xiamen (Fujian) this morning, in the presence of a bishop of Taiwan and five bishops from China, including an illegitimate bishop.

Today, China also celebrates the Feast of Our Lady of China. This is the third Vatican-approved and Chinese government-recognized Episcopal ordination within a month, after Hohhot and Haimen dioceses.

The celebration was presided over by Mgr. Fang Xinyao Linyi (Shandong). Other bishops present included: Mgr. Zhan Silu of Mindong, Xiao Zejiang of Guizhou, Xu Honggen of Suzhou, Li Mingshu of Qingdao and Mgr. Joseph Cheng Tsai-fa, Bishop Emeritus of Taipei (Taiwan).

All of them, with the exception of Mgr. Zhan, are legitimate and in communion with the Holy See. Archbishop Cheng, 77, is a native of Xiamen, who fled to Hong Kong in 1950 and later went to Taiwan, and then became bishop emeritus in 2007.

More than 60 priests of Xiamen and neighbouring dioceses attended the celebration, along with more than 1,600 faithful. After Mass, there was a reception, followed by a seminar.

Before his ordination, Mgr. Cai told AsiaNews that his diocese has received several groups of Catholics from Taiwan, and he hoped to continue the dialogue and exchange with the Church on the other side of the Strait of Taiwan.

He said that the priorities of the diocese are primarily the formation of priests and nuns, especially from the viewpoint of spirituality. He also wants to build a structure for organizing the diocese to facilitate evangelization and pastoral work.

Bishop Cai was ordained priest in 1992. His diocese has 30,000 Catholics, served by 11 priests and 16 nuns. Currently, a deacon is in the Philippines for his studies.


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