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Vatican Gives OK to Chinese Bishops

L’Osservatore Reports Papal Approval

VATICAN CITY, SEPT. 21, 2007 ( Benedict XVI approved the episcopal ordination of two new Chinese bishops for the archdioceses of Beijing and Guiyang, reported the Vatican daily newspaper L’Osservatore Romano.

Father Giuseppe Li Shan was ordained archbishop of Beijing today, and Father Paolo Xiao Zejiang was ordained Sept. 8 as coadjutor bishop of the Diocese of Guiyang in the Guizhou province in southern China.

The Vatican daily reported today that “the Catholic communities of Guiyang and Beijing, upon receiving news of the communion granted by the Pope to Archbishops Xiao and Li, gathered to celebrate with their new pastors, while they expressed regret that some bishops who participated in the sacramental rite were not in communion with the Holy See.”

L’Osservatore said that hundreds of faithful participated in the episcopal ordinations of the two bishops, which the paper recalled that the Vatican had previously said were worthy and suitable candidates.

The daily also noted that both presiding prelates of both episcopal ordinations are in communion with the Pontiff. Bishop Aniceto Wang Chongyi of Guiyang presided over the ordination of Bishop Xiao, and Bishop Giovanni Fang Xingyao of Linyi presided over the ordination of Archbishop Li.

L’Osservatore entrusted “these two young prelates and their dioceses to the protection of the Virgin Mary.”

The paper also expressed the “desire that all the dioceses will be able to have worthy and suitable pastors, capable of living in full communion with the Catholic Church and with the Successor of Peter, and of announcing the Gospel of Jesus Christ to the Chinese people.”

The daily added that the Catholics of China and the entire world prays for the fulfillment of the desire expressed by Benedict XVI in his recent letter to the Church in China that the Vatican, the Chinese bishops and the Chinese authorities could “overcome their difficulties and reach a useful understanding” to the benefit of believers.

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