CV NEWS FEED // The Vatican has announced the ordination of a third Chinese bishop in one week, prompting speculation regarding a shift in diplomatic relations for the better.
The Vatican’s statement on Wednesday revealed that a new bishop, Pietro Wu Yishun, 59, has been appointed to the city of Shaowu in the southeastern province of Fujian.
The announcement follows two other appointments in the past week: Fr Thaddeus Wang Yuesheng in Zhengzhou on January 25, and Fr Anthony Sun Venjun of the new diocese of Weifang on January 30.
According to a Barron’s report, Yishun “was nominated by Pope Francis under a historic but secretive 2018 deal allowing both sides a say in appointing bishops in Communist China.”
The Holy See dates the Holy Father’s date of approval as December 16, 2023.
Yishun’s post in the apostolic prefecture of Shaowu has been without a bishop since the expulsion of Mgr Maximillian König in the 1950s.
Asia News stated in its report:
The new ordination is also particularly relevant for the province in question, Fujian, which is one of those where historically the presence of Catholic communities in China is most concentrated.
The report also notes that Yishun’s new role as bishop of the apostolic prefecture will also include the new denomination of Minbei.
In its analysis of the Vatican’s recent string of appointments in China, Barron’s speculated that “Vatican-China ties are entering a period of appeasement after months of tensions.”
As CatholicVote previously reported, tensions between China and the Holy See were high in November 2022, after the Chinese government made a clerical appointment without Vatican approval.
Pope Francis then began appeasing the Chinese government in July 2023 when he approved the Chinese government’s unsanctioned appointment of Bishop Joseph Shen Bin in Shanghai.