During his ordination ceremony last week, a new Chinese bishop spoke on the importance of reconciliation within the Church in China, referencing the Holy Father's letter to the Catholic community in 2007.
Bishop Joseph Cai Bingrui, 44, was ordained in the Church of Our Lady of the Rosary in Xiamen on May 8, on the Feast of Our Lady of China, reported Fides News. He was appointed by the Holy See as Bishop of the Diocese of Xiamen in the southern coastal area of Fujian, of which he had been administrator for several years.
Bishop Cai said on Saturday that he was optimistic about the path of reconciliation within the diocesan community, referencing the apostolic letter that the Holy Father sent to the Church in China in 2007, which invited Catholic Christians to forgiveness and reconciliation.
The Catholic Church in China has faced many difficulties in recent years, including divisions within the Church caused in large part by persecution from the Chinese Communist government.
Bishop Cai added that priorities under his leadership will be to promote vocations, to strengthen the training of priests and the laity and to rebuild the structures of the diocese, which have remained without a pastor for almost 20 years.
Last week's ordination was attended by more than 2,000 faithful and 60 priests, with the liturgy being presided over by Bishop John Fang Xingyao, Bishop of Linyi.
Bishop Cai was born September 15, 1966 into a family with a longstanding Catholic history. After completing his studies at the seminary of Shanghai, he was ordained August 15, 1992. Soon after the death of Bishop Joseph Huang Ziyu in 1991, he was given the leadership of the diocese as diocesan administrator.
The new Chinese bishop entrusted the diocesan community to the motherly protection of Our Lady of China during his ordination, expressing hope that he can carry out, with dedication and love, the pastoral service that he has been assigned, reported Fides News.