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Archbishop of Beijing elected president of Patriotic Association of Chinese Catholics

Archbishop Joseph Li Shan of Beijing has been elected president of the Patriotic Association of Chinese Catholics following a meeting last week of the organization.

The Patriotic Association was established in 1957 to mark what is supposed to be the autonomy of Chinese Catholicism from Rome.

Meanwhile, the Council of Chinese Bishops, a collegial body that is not recognized by the Holy See, named Msgr. Shen Bin, bishop of Haimen in the province of Jiangtsu, as its new head.

The new appointments were announced at the end of the 10th National Assembly of Chinese Catholic Representatives, which is controlled by the Chinese Communist Party, on Saturday, August 20.

Bishop Li Shan, 57, was consecrated bishop in September 2007 with the consent of the Holy See, according to the procedure already in place before the 2018 Agreement on the appointment of bishops.

Msgr. Shen Bin, 52, was vice president of the Council of Chinese Bishops before his appointment last week.

The appointments also included a new “Supervisory Committee of the two supreme bodies” that will be led by Msgr. Zhan Silu, bishop of Xiapu in the province of Fujiang.

An official statement released by the Patriotic Association website said the delegates to the meeting discussed “the great project of transmitting the pastoral spirit, honoring the Lord and benefiting the people.”

It said that it “looked at the cause of patriotism and brilliant prospects of deepening the Sinicization of Catholicism in our country” with the intention of “looking ahead” by seeking “truth and pragmatism.”

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