Rome (AsiaNews) - In recent months, since April until today, the Church in China has celebrated the ordination of six new bishops, as well as the official installation of a previously ordained bishop who had not been recognised by the government. What has been surprising is that all candidates were approved by the Holy See and recognized by Beijing. But even more surprising is that this wave of new Episcopal ordinations comes in the wake of two lean years, i.e. during which there were no consecrations despite the fact that there were about 40 dioceses of the official Church with octogenarian pastors, who needed replacement, or indeed vacant sees.
The newly ordained (as well as the officially installed bishop) - of which AsiaNews gave immediate news - are the pastors of Bameng (Inner Mongolia), Hohhot (Inner Mongolia), Haimen (Jiangsu) Xiamen (Fujian); Sanyuan (Shaanxi), Taizhou ( Zhejiang), Yulin (Yanan, Shaanxi).
Bishops in communion with the Holy See attended all of the ordinations, with the exception of that of Bameng. Instead in Bameng, the patriotic bishop Ma Yinglin, illegally ordained in 2006, attended the celebration. He is considered the heir to Anthony Liu Bainian, vice chairman of the Patriotic Association, nicknamed the "Pope" of the official Church because of his power over the finance and bishops of the Church.