New Chinese Bishop Hopeful for Church

VATICAN CITY, JULY 14, 2010 ( The newest Chinese bishop is optimistic about the future of the Church in China, reports the Vatican.

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A statement from the Vatican press office today noted that Bishop Antonio Xu Jiwei, 75, was consecrated on Saturday as the bishop of Taizhou, in the province of Zhejiang, China.

The prelate acknowledged that his diocese faces various challenges, he is «optimistic about a revival of evangelisation and a growth of the Catholic community,» the Vatican note stated.

The bishop was approved by both the Holy See as bishop of Taizhou as well as the government authorities.

In China, the government permits religious practice only with recognized personnel and in places registered with the Religious Affairs Office and under the control of the Patriotic Association.

The liturgical celebration was presided by bishops Giuseppe Li Mingsu of Qingdao, Giuseppe Zhao Fengchang of Liaocheng, Giuseppe Xu Honggen of Suzhou and Giuseppe Han Yingjin of Sanyuan, who are all likewise in communion with the Holy See and recognized by the government.

Some 1,000 faithful were present for the consecration of the new bishop, whose post had been vacant since 1962.

The diocese is composed of some 6,000 faithful, 15 priests and 10 nuns.

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