UCA News


First bishop ordained since Sino-Vatican deal

Father Anthony Yao Shun has finally celebrated his ordination, nine years after he was approved by the Vatican

ucanews.com reporter, Hong Kong

ucanews.com reporter, Hong Kong

Support Asia's largest network of Catholic journalists and editors
Support Asia's largest network of Catholic journalists and editors
First bishop ordained since Sino-Vatican deal

Bishop Yao Shun of Jining (second right) receives his episcopal ordination on Aug. 26. (Photo supplied)

Share this article :
The first ordination of a bishop since the 2018 China-Vatican provisional agreement has taken place in Jining Diocese, Inner Mongolia.

Father Anthony Yao Shun, 54, of Jining Diocese was ordained at the Our Lady of Rosary Cathedral in the city of Jining on Aug. 26.

The ceremony was held by Bishop Paul Meng Qinglu of Hohhot, a vice-chairman of the Chinese Catholic Patriotic Association (CCPA), and concelebrated with Bishop Matthias Du Jiang of Bameng in the same region, Bishop Paul Meng Ningyou of Taiyuan in Shanxi province and Bishop Joseph Li Jing of Ningxia in Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region.

An approval letter by the Bishops’ Conference of the Catholic Church in China (BCCCC) was read out during the ceremony, declaring that Bishop Yao had been elected “according to the tradition of bishop election by the Holy Church and the regulation of the BCCCC.”

“After verification and a valid election, we give an official approval now. This candidate was approved by the pope," it continued.  

According to the local source, the ceremony was overseen by minimum government security and ran smoothly. More than 120 priests concelebrated with 50 nuns together and more than 1,000 Catholic attended the Mass.

A diocesan priest, who identifies himself as Joseph, noted that their diocese had focused on evangelization and connection with local Catholics.

“God uses bishops as a visible sign to lead us and manage the Church. I think Bishop Yao has plans for how to develop the diocese development,” Father Joseph told ucanews.com.

Another priest from the diocese, who identifies himself as Peter, told ucanews.com that he hoped Bishop Yao would lead the Church’s quest for more space to allow it to develop.

Bishop Yao is a former vicar general of the diocese, which has about 70,000 faithful, led by 31 priests and 12 nuns; he was elected by church members on April 9.

Although he is the first ordained bishop since the China-Vatican agreement was signed in September 2018, Bishop Yao was actually secretly approved by the Vatican long beforehand, in 2010.

A further 20 bishop candidates have been approved by the Vatican and are waiting for their appointments to be ratified by the Chinese government.

Bishop Yao was ordained as a diocesan priest in 1991 and taught at the National Seminary, studying liturgy at St. John’s University in New York and returned to the diocese in 2010.

Support UCA News...

As 2020 unfolds, we are asking readers like you to help us keep Union of Catholic Asian News (UCA News) free so it can be accessed from anywhere in the world at no cost.

That has been our policy for years and was made possible by donations from European Catholic funding agencies. However, like the Church in Europe, these agencies are in decline and the immediate and urgent claims on their funds for humanitarian emergencies in Africa and parts of Asia mean there is much less to distribute than there was even a decade ago.

Forty years ago, when UCA News was founded, Asia was a very different place - many poor and underdeveloped countries with large populations to feed, political instability and economies too often poised on the edge of collapse. Today, Asia is the economic engine room of the world and funding agencies quite rightly look to UCA News to do more to fund itself.

UCA News has a unique product developed from a view of the world and the Church through informed Catholic eyes. Our journalistic standards are as high as any in the quality press; our focus is particularly on a fast-growing part of the world - Asia - where, in some countries the Church is growing faster than pastoral resources can respond to - South Korea, Vietnam and India to name just three.

And UCA News has the advantage of having in its ranks local reporters that cover 22 countries and experienced native English-speaking editors to render stories that are informative, informed and perceptive.

We report from the ground where other news services simply can't or won't go. We report the stories of local people and their experiences in a way that Western news outlets simply don't have the resources to reach. And we report on the emerging life of new Churches in old lands where being a Catholic can at times be very dangerous.

With dwindling support from funding partners in Europe and the USA, we need to call on the support of those who benefit from our work.

Click here to find out the ways you can support UCA News. You can make a difference for as little as US$5...
UCAN Donate
Thank you. You are now signed up to our Daily Full Bulletin newsletter
Support UCA News

William J. Grimm, MM


Union of Catholic Asian News

"As Pope Francis has said, we live not so much in an era of change as in a change of era. That is especially true in Asia and for the churches of Asia. UCA News is the dedicated, Asia-wide news and information service for the Church in Asia and we need your help to maintain the service."