The Holy See announced the appointment of Peter Wu Yishun as bishop of the Apostolic Prefecture of Shaowu, located in Fujian province, consolidating the series of episcopal appointments in China with the third choice in less than a week.
Bishop Wu’s official appointment, held on December 16, 2023, under the terms of the interim agreement between the Holy See and China, was followed by episcopal consecration at Chengguan Church in Jianyang District, Nanping City. The ceremony was attended by Joseph Li Shan, archbishop of Beijing and central figure in the Chinese Catholic Patriotic Association, as well as other bishops, 80 priests and around 360 religious and lay people.
Recent appointments, including that of Thaddeus Wang Yuesheng to Zhengzhou and the creation of the Diocese of Weifang, are in line with the Vatican’s effort to ensure the appointment of church leaders within the recent agreement with China.
The rapid succession of appointments suggests a phase of relative stability in the Catholic Church’s relations with China, after periods of tension and disagreements, notably marked by the unilateral appointment of bishops by the Chinese government.
In contrast, the Chinese reality stands out for its differences in relation to the brutal persecution of Catholics in Nicaragua.
The relationship between the Vatican and China has faced decades of problems since the interruption of diplomatic relations in 1951. Through the 2018 interim agreement, both parties sought to establish a mechanism for the appointment of bishops, aiming to overcome impasses and promote unity and the growth of the Catholic Church in China.
With information from The Antagonist