07/28/2021, 13.06
CHINA - VATICAN
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Bishop Li Hui ordained coadjutor bishop of Pingliang

The consecration is in line with the Sino-Vatican agreement on episcopal appointments. Bishop Li had been appointed a year ago. Police arrest Fr Joseph Liu of the diocese of Mindong, torture him for 10 hours, and force him to join the Independent Church, an expression of the Chinese Communist Party.

Rome (AsiaNews) - Msgr. Li Hui is the new coadjutor bishop of Pingliang (Gansu). The consecration ceremony was held today in the cathedral of the local diocese. It was presided over by Msgr. Ma Yinglin, bishop of Kunming (Yunnan), president of the Chinese Bishops' Conference and vice president of the Chinese Patriotic Catholic Association. The two bodies of the "Independent Church" are an expression of the Chinese Communist Party.

Other prelates who took part in the ceremony include Msgr. Han Jide, titular of the diocese of Pingliang, Msgr. Guo Jincai, bishop of the diocese of Chengde (Hebei) and Msgr. Han Zhihai, bishop of the diocese of Lanzhou (Gansu).

Father Yang Yu, deputy secretary general of the Chinese Bishops' Conference, read the letter of approval. More than 30 priests and 20 nuns were present in the cathedral, as well as representatives of the Patriotic Association and faithful of the diocese.

Msgr. Li's consecration is in line with the Sino-Vatican agreement on episcopal appointments in China. Today's is the third ordination after the renewal of the agreement last October. The first involved the bishop of Qingdao (Shandong); the other the bishop of Hongdong-Linfen (Shanxi).

Bishop Li Hui was born in 1972 in Meixian County (Shaanxi). He entered the preparatory seminary of Pingliang diocese in 1990 and graduated from the Chinese Catholic Theological and Philosophical Institute in 1996. In the same year, he was ordained a priest and then studied at Renmin University. His appointment as coadjutor bishop of Pingliang came on July 24, 2020.

Meanwhile, also yesterday, Fr. Joseph Liu of the diocese of Mindong (Fujian) was detained by police for his refusal to join the Independent Church. According to AsiaNews sources, because of his resistance he suffered terrible violence (see photo 4): "After 10 hours of torture, six policemen took him by the hand and forced him to sign. The persecution of Catholic religious is not stopping".

Fr. Liu’s arrest shows that the agreement between the Vatican and China on the appointment of bishops has not changed the past dynamics, with the Party continuing to firmly control the activities of religious personnel.

The same is true, for example, for the bishop of Xinxiang (Henan), Msgr. Joseph Zhang Weizhu. After being arrested in May together with 10 priests and as many seminarians, his fate remains unknown.

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