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A New Catholic Bishop is Installed in Beijing

by Dr. D ~ September 22nd, 2007

Joseph Li Shan was appointed and installed this week to the post of Bishop of Beijing by China’s government controlled Catholic Church. Bishop Shan will be the new leader over the nearly 60,000 Catholics who live in the Chinese capitol.

There are both good and not so good elements to this story. While the Chinese government maintains its control over the churches in China and demands the right to choose the church leaders, apparently Bishop Shan is held in good regard by the Vatican. However, there are several Bishops who were in attendance which the church does not recognize. Also, the church continues to appoint Bishops from time to time which the government does not condone and even hinders (Recently I wrote about a Bishop that died under police custody).

In the last few years, the Chinese government and the Vatican officials have tried to come to come to some agreement and compromise on the choice of new bishops. While the government maintains their right to choose church leaders, they have accomodated the church by asking for the Vatican’s opinion and approval on their more recent choices.

While this is an obvious improvement, churches in China should be allowed to govern their own affairs without interference from government authorities, particularly from those who don’t even believe.             *Top

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