Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Appointment of Beijing bishop set in motion

The China Catholic Bishops College is to examine the recent election of Joseph Li Shan as Beijing Bishop, who would fill the vacancy left by the late Bishop Fu Tieshan if he is approved.

Fu, the former chairman of the Chinese Catholic Patriotic Association and Bishop of the Beijing Diocese, died of cancer in April.

Liu Bainian, vice-president of the association, told China Daily yesterday that the Catholic Bishops College has received notice of Li's election from the Beijing Diocese and is to vet his appointment in a coming conference.

Li was chosen by a group of Chinese priests, nuns and lay people last Monday in an election organized by the Beijing Diocese.

He won 74 out of the 93 votes to easily win over three other candidates in the election in accordance with the regulations of the China Catholic Bishops College and through democratic procedures, said sources with the Beijing Diocese.

"We will heed the voice of the majority. But we still need to check the voting process," said Liu.
Li will be ordained within three months if the bishops' conference approves his appointment.

Liu described Li, born and nurtured in a religious family, as a good candidate for the post.
"He is compassionate and loving."

Li, a 42-year-old priest at Beijing's St Joseph's Church in the capital's Wangfujing shopping area, graduated from the Chinese Catholic Academy of Theology and Philosophy. He was ordained by Bishop Fu as a priest in 1989.

Meanwhile, the Chinese Catholic Patriotic Association is to celebrate its 50th anniversary tomorrow in Beijing, where bishops from across the country will join in.

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