Vatican City (Agenzia Fides) - "This is a great and very positive compromise between the Vatican and China. Thanks to the patience and foresight of Pope Francis", said a priest from Beijing to Fides, shortly after the publication of the current list of participants' names regarding the upcoming Synod of Bishops. He refers to the participation of the two Chinese bishops: Bishop Anthony Yao Shun of Jining/Wumeng and Bishop Joseph Yang Yongqiang of Zhoucun, of the People's Republic of China. The two names particularly stand out among the list of participants in the XVI Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops, which will take place in Rome from October 4th to 29th, 2023, and was published today by the Vatican Press Office. In addition to the two bishops, Bishop Stephen Sau-Yan Chow, S.I., of Hong Kong (China) is also on the list, who will created cardinal by Pope Francis on the occasion of the upcoming consistory on Saturday, September 30, 2023.
Msgr. Anthony Yao Shun, 58 years old, bishop of Jining/Wumeng, Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region, is the first bishop consecrated after the provisional Agreement signed by the Holy See and China on the appointment of Chinese bishops on September 22, 2018.
Born in Ulanqab in 1965, Msgr. Yao was ordained a priest in 1991, after studying at the National Seminary in Beijing. He later taught at the National Seminary, where he was also spiritual Director. Between 1994 and 1998 he studied in the United States and obtained a degree in liturgy. He completed a Bible study in Jerusalem. In addition to his teaching, he worked in the Liturgical Commission of the Chinese Bishops' Council (which is not recognized by the Holy See). He was consecrated bishop on August 26, 2019 by Bishop Paul Meng Qinglu of Hohhot (Inner Mongolia).
The Diocese of Jining (Ulanqab) has about 70 thousand faithful with 30 priests and 12 sisters. Msgr. Joseph Yang Yongqiang, bishop of Zhoucun in Shandong Province, was ordained coadjutor by Bishop Fang Xinyao of Linyi on November 15, 2010, at the age of 40, at Zibo Cathedral. He is the tenth official bishop consecrated in 2010, in communion with the Church and recognized by the government. He was born in April 1970 to a Catholic family in Zhoucun and was very religious as a child. In 1987, he entered the Jinan Minor Seminary. In 1989, he was sent to study at Sheshan Major Seminary in the Diocese of Shanghai. He was ordained a priest in 1995. In 2003, he studied for a year at the National Seminary in Beijing. From 2005 to 2010 he taught at the Holy Spirit Seminary in Jinan. The Zhoucun diocese has 16,000 thousand faithful and 12 priests. (NZ) (Agenzia Fides, 21/9/2023)