CV NEWS FEED // Pope Francis approved the new bishop of Shanghai, who was appointed without Vatican approval in April by the Chinese government.
Bishop Joseph Shen Bin was moved to Shanghai from his post in the diocese of Haimen in April, despite the Holy See’s agreement with Beijing which stipulates Vatican approval.
A Provisional Agreement was signed by the Holy See and the People’s Republic of China on September 22, 2018, recognizing the Vatican’s sole authority to appoint bishops.
China last renewed its agreement with the Holy See in October 2022. In November, the Vatican accused China of violating the terms of the agreement when Giovanni Peng Weizhao was appointed auxiliary bishop in Jiangxi, a diocese the Vatican does not recognize.
Shen Bin’s appointment is the second unauthorized appointment by Chinese officials in the last year. He is also the president of the Council of Chinese Bishops, a group not officially recognized by the Vatican.
Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Pietro Parolin gave an interview to Vatican News about the circumstances of Shen Bin’s approval, in which he referred to China’s actions as “obstacles placed in the way to undermine trust and reduce positive energy.”
Parolin said the Holy Father aimed to “remedy the canonical irregularity created in Shanghai,” through continued diplomatic relations, advocating for “an established liaison office of the Holy See in China.”
He further emphasized that for “full reconciliation,” between the Vatican and China, the Holy See’s authority to appoint bishops must be restored.