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Chinese Patriotic Association announces ordination of new bishop

The Vatican did not announce the appointment of a bishop of Qingdao prior to the November 23rd ordination.

The episcopal ordination of Thomas Chen Tianhao in Qingdao Cathedral, China, on Nov. 23, 2020. (Credit:

CNA Staff, Nov 24, 2020 / 08:00 am (CNA).- The Chinese Patriotic Association announced Monday the ordination of a new bishop of Qingdao.

The episcopal ordination of Thomas Chen Tianhao, 陈天浩, took place on Nov. 23 in Qingdao Cathedral with the Chinese Patriotic Catholic Association Chairman Bishop Fang Xingyao presiding, according to a statement and photos on the association’s website.

Chen, 58, had previously served as the president of the Patriotic Association of Qingdao in Shandong Province in 1998 and as a National Patriotic Association Standing Committee member since 2010. He was ordained a priest in 1989 after studying at a seminary in Shandong.

In 2019, Chen led a Shandong Province standing committee meeting to “study the spirit” of a speech by Chinese President Xi Jinping in which the achievements of the United Front Work Department were celebrated, according to Chinese Patriotic Association.

The Vatican did not announce the appointment of a bishop of Qingdao prior to this ordination, and has not responded to CNA’s request for comment on the ceremony.

Asia News reported that this could be considered the first episcopal ordination to have taken place using the rubrics laid out in the provisional agreement between China and the Holy See. But the Vatican has indicated that it considers two previously appointed bishops to have been appointed under the “regulatory framework established by the agreement.”

When the Vatican announced the renewal of its two-year agreement with China on Oct. 22, a L’Osservatore Romano article lauded the results of the agreement, saying that Bishop Antonio Yao Shun, of Jining Autonomous Region of Inner Mongolia, and Bishop Stefano Xu Hongwei, of Hanzhong in Shaanxi Province, had been appointed under its framework.

It also said that “processes for new episcopal appointments are underway, some at an early stage, others at an advanced stage.”

There are Chinese sources that indicate that Chen was first elected and appointed bishop of Qingdao on Nov. 19, 2019, according to Asia News.

As bishop of Qingdao, Chen would succeed Bishop Giuseppe Li Mingshu, who died in June 2018. Bishop Li had served as bishop of Qingdao with Holy See approval since 2000.

The Vatican-China agreement, first signed on Sept. 22, 2018 and renewed last month, concerns the nomination of bishops in China. The Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Pietro Parolin has said that the goal of the agreement is “unity of the Church” in China. Catholics had been divided for decades between the government-approved Chinese Patriotic Association and illegal underground Catholic communities that remained in communion with Rome.

A 2020 report of the U.S. Congressional-Executive Commission on China found that Chinese Catholics suffered “increasing persecution” after the deal.

All religions in China have been subjected to the Chinese Communist Party’s policies of “sinicization” and technological control, and China’s Uyghur Muslims in Xinjiang province, in particular, have suffered forced labor, indoctrination, sterilization, forced abortion, and torture in dentention camps, according to reports.

Despite mounting international condemnation of China’s internment of more than a million Uyghurs in detention camps, neither Pope Francis nor the Holy See has commented in an official capacity on the situation. But a new book quotes Pope Francis as saying that he oftens thinks about the Uyghurs.

“I think often of persecuted peoples: the Rohingya, the poor Uighurs, the Yazidi — what ISIS did to them was truly cruel — or Christians in Egypt and Pakistan killed by bombs that went off while they prayed in church,” Pope Francis is quoted as saying in the book, “Let Us Dream,” according to AP.

The Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian responded to this mention of the Uighurs by saying that there was “no factual basis at all” to the pope’s comment.

“People of all ethnic groups enjoy the full rights of survival, development, and freedom of religious belief,” Zhao said at a daily briefing, according to AP.

The United States and 38 other countries have called for the United Nations to investigate the situation and to condemn Chinese human rights abuses in Xinjiang.

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  1. I’m sure the Vatican is going to quickly and decisively excommunicate all of these Bishops and the neo-conservatives will assure us the Patriotic Church is in schism since if the Lefebvre affair showed us anything it’s that ordaining a bishop without Papal approval is a schismatic act.

    • The book of Canon law from 1917 till the new one did not call for excommunication for consecrating a Bishop without a Papal mandate, it was called an act of disobedience. The new Code states that a Bishop cannot Consecrate another Bishop without a Papal mandate or face excommunication Latae Sententiae. WITH THE EXCEPTION OF “CASE OF NECESSITY”. It was in tears that Lefebvre publicly called upon the case of necessity according to the code of Canon Law. Christs Church was at stake and the Modernist heretics were on fire with hate. St. John Paul ll was aware of this which is why he continued to try to work out something with the SSPX. Many Cardinals and Bishops are only now recognizing Lefebvre was right. They have even said that one day Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre will be declared a Doctor of the Church. JJ, As for “anything” this is where the Lefebvre case stands today. Straight and Tall! As for the Patriotic Church in China, Pope Francis has already given them blanket permission to do as they wish, with his complete approval.

    • The Holy See took a very unorthodox path since Pope Francis came on board. Pope Emeritus Benedict should have never ‘retire’. Pope Francis is a liberal pope.

      • Alexios, Thanks for what you said. I feel the same way. But if we look at the situation with the lens of “The spiritual realm” as the Apostles state. This all makes sense or through Mans eyes doesn’t make sense at all. Pope Benedict XVl said that it was through a mystical experience that God asked him to step down. Pope Benedict only resigned from the governance of the Church “Ministerium”, but he did not resign the “Munus”, which is the Papacy itself. He is still the Pope. St. Francis of Assisi prophesied this, “A man not canonically elected will be raised to the Pontificate. In those days Jesus Christ will not send them a true Pastor but a destroyer”, (An Anti-Pope). St. Francis was prophesizing Jorge Mario Bergoglio, in which there is proof he was not canonically elected. When we look at this through the spiritual realm it is obvious that something that is God’s plan is unraveling. Lets continue to Hope and trust God. At Fatima Our Lady made it clear that all that is happening has been entrusted to Her Immaculate Heart who has already crushed the head of the serpent. Like God and Our Lady let us strike back at evil by trying to live a life pleasing to God. This would accomplish great things that we will not know about until the next life.

    • lJ, Is this more sarcasm? If not, this priest who is scheduled to be consecrated a Bishop will in fact be a Bishop through the Apostolic Succession. Pope Francis accepts it but in reality it is a valid but illicit consecration. Pope Francis has unleashed all hell on the Chinese people. Its a betrayal of the Faithful. And I’m just as sure as the next guy that Francis will continue to unleash hell on God’s people.

2 Trackbacks / Pingbacks

  1. Renowned journalist reveals CCP torture of Catholic priest, as Chinese state appoints new bishop |
  2. Revelan la tortura del PCCh a un sacerdote chino, mientras el propio estado se encarga de nombrar a un nuevo obispo

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