Francis accepted China’s appointment of new bishop for Shanghai

RELIGIOUS NEWS AGENCY (REDNA) – Pope Francis, the world Catholics leader, decided to accept China’s unilateral appointment of new bishop in Shanghai.

AP reported Pope understood the appointment by Beijing after three months.

The Vatican spokesman said in early April that the Holy See learned of Shen’s appointment to lead the Catholic Church in Shanghai from media accounts.

In its daily noon bulletin, the Vatican said Francis had appointed Shen as bishop of Shanghai, transferring him from Haimen.

The Vatican secretary of state, Cardinal Pietro Parolin, said Francis decided to accept China’s unilateral appointment for the “greater good” of the faithful in Shanghai. But Parolin made clear China’s move had violated the “spirit of collaboration” outlined in a 2018 accord between the Holy See and Beijing on bishop appointments.

He said he hoped future appointments would be made according to the letter and spirit of consensus called for in the accord.

China and the Vatican haven’t had diplomatic relations since 1951, following the Communists’ rise to power and the expulsion of foreign priests. The Vatican has sought in recent years to open contacts and reduce frictions, particularly over the appointment of bishops.

The Vatican previously acknowledged that the 2018 accord was far from ideal.

Beijing has long insisted that it must approve such appointments as a matter of its national sovereignty. The Vatican has insisted on the pope’s divine authority to choose the successors of Christ’s apostles.


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