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Chinese Catholics (Vatican Media)

A Chinese bishop was installed yesterday as the bishop of Shanghai with the Vatican learning of the installation via media reports. Source: CNA/Vatican News.

An Asia News report said Bishop Joseph Shen Bin of Haimen was appointed to lead the Diocese of Shanghai by the Council of Chinese Bishops, the state-sanctioned bishops’ conference.

Shen Bin is also the head of the Council of Chinese Bishops, Asia News reported.

Vatican spokesman Matteo Bruni said on Tuesday that “the Holy See had been informed a few days ago of the decision of the Chinese authorities to transfer [Shen Bin from Haimen to Shanghai] and learned from the media of the installation this morning”.

He said he had nothing to add to the Holy See’s assessment of the bishop’s transfer for the time being.

The Asia News report said the installation of Shen Bin as bishop of Shanghai happened without the Vatican’s approval and therefore in violation of the Vatican-China deal on the appointment of bishops.

Shen Bin had been bishop of Haimen since 2010, an appointment that was Vatican sanctioned. 

Asia News said the Diocese of Shanghai has not had a Catholic bishop for 10 years.

In March, the Vatican’s foreign minister told EWTN News that the Vatican-China deal was “not the best deal possible” and that negotiations were underway to make the deal “work better.”

Archbishop Paul Gallagher, the Vatican secretary for Relations with States, said that Holy See diplomats are “negotiating improvements” to the Holy See’s provisional agreement with Beijing on the appointment of bishops, first signed in 2018.


Report: Chinese bishop appointed to Shanghai without Vatican approval (By Hannah Brockhaus, CNA)

Chinese Bishop Shen Bin transferred to Shanghai, Holy See learns of move from media (Vatican News)