Vatican City (Agenzia Fides) – On Thursday, September 16, the episcopal consecration of Bishop Paul Meng Ningyou, as Coadjutor Bishop of Taiyuan, took place in the cathedral. Bishop Meng is a member of the diocesan clergy, is 47 years old, and has been a priest for 19 years. He was approved by the Holy See for the office of Coadjutor Bishop of Taiyuan. The Chinese authorities have approved his ordination.
The liturgy was presided by Bishop Sylvester Li Jiantang, the 80-year-old Diocesan Bishop of Taiyuan, along with Bishops John Huo Cheng of Fenyang, Joseph Li Jing of Ningsia, John Baptist Wang Jin di Yuci, and Paul Meng Qinglu of Hohhot. All these bishops are in communion with the Holy Father and recognized by the government. The ceremony was attended by at least 120 priests from various provinces and towns (Shanxi, Hunan, Hebei, Henan, Beijing, and Shanghai), as well as over 5,000 faithful that filled the interior of the cathedral and the courtyard around the building.
Bishop Meng was born in 1963 in Taiyuan. He entered the minor seminary in 1984 and later studied at the Seminary of Shanxi and the National Seminary in Beijing. Ordained a priest in 1991, he spent some time teaching in the National Seminary. Between 1994 and 1996, he participated in Chinese delegations that visited Europe, Hong Kong, Korea, and Taiwan. In 1999, he was sent to study in Ireland and in 2003, at the University of Louvain (Belgium). Upon his return to China in 2004, he continued teaching in the National Seminary. In 2006, he was appointed vicar general and pastor of the Cathedral of Taiyuan.
The Archdiocese of Taiyuan currently has more than 100,000 faithful, mostly farmers or workers. There are about sixty priests and one hundred religious sisters. The Diocese has several clinics and a social center.
Bishop Meng asked all the priests to be united among themselves and promised to govern his diocese in communion with the Universal Church. The new bishop hopes to cultivate an interest for faith and religion among the people.
The diocesan community entrusts Bishop Meng to the maternal protection of the Virgin Mary, who is especially venerated in this diocese with its two Marian shrines, visited annually by pilgrims from the various neighboring dioceses. Everyone hopes that he may carry out the pastoral office which the Church has entrusted to him in Taiyuan with dedication and love. (Agenzia Fides 22/09/2010)