Bishop Vincent Zhan Silu, 61, of Mindong/Funing in Fujian Province. After underground Bishop Joseph Guo Xijin stepped aside to allow him to lead the diocese, Zhan led a delegation of 33 priests from the Diocese of Mindong to participate in a “formation course” at the Central Institute of Socialism, in collaboration with the United Front of Fujian Province, where they listened to presentations on the “sinicization of religion.”
“We must contribute to the creation of a new reality in the diocese of Mindong and in the Catholic Church of Fujian,” Zhan said after the course, according to Asia News.
“We will deepen the content of Catholic doctrine in order to foster social harmony, progress and a positive culture. To carry out the sinicization of religion with determination, we will continue to follow a path that conforms to socialist society,” Zhan said in August 2019.
Bishop Paul Lei Shiyin, 56, of Leshan in Chongqing Province. Lei served as an official delegate at the government’s Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference in 2018. He previously served as a vice president of the Patriotic Association.
After his excommunication was lifted, Lei was a speaker at a 2019 celebration of the Chinese Red Army’s Long March, led by Mao Zedong, in which he spoke of a meeting convened by Mao in a (requisitioned) Catholic priest’s house in Moxi in 1935 as a story of “patriotism of our country’s Catholicism,” according to the Catholic Patriotic Association website.
Bishop Joseph Huang Bingzhang, 53, of Shantou in Guangdong Province. After he was appointed by the government without papal permission in 2011, Huang became vice president of the Chinese Patriotic Catholic Association.
He served as a deputy in the most recent National People’s Congress, as well as the National People’s Congress that took place from 2008 to 2013.
Huang said in 2017 that he would work to actively promote the practice of Catholic patriotism, according to the Chinese Patriotic Association website.
Bishop Joseph Liu Xinhong, 56, of Anqing in Anhui Province. Illicitly ordained in 2006 after the government-controlled Catholic bishops’ conference combined the dioceses of Anqing, Bengbu and Wuhu to form the Anhui diocese -- a restructuring that was not recognized by the Holy See, according to UCA News.
Bishop Joseph Ma Yinglin, 55, of Kunming in Yunnan Province. Ma previously served as secretary for the Council of Catholic Bishops at a time when the government-controlled “episcopal conference” was not recognized by the Holy See. In 2010, Ma was appointed president of the Chinese patriotic association’s bishops’ conference.
Bishop Joseph Yue Fusheng, 56, of Harbin in Heilongjiang Province. Yue was illicitly named bishop of Harbin in 2012 by the Chinese Catholic Patriotic Association.
Bishop Anthony Tu Shihua of Hanyang and Puqi in Hubei province. Before his death in 2017 at the age of 98, Tu expressed a desire to be reconciled with the Holy See. One of China’s first illicitly named bishops, Tu was appointed without papal mandate in 1959, and later served as rector of the National Seminary in Beijing between 1983 and 1992, and as a leader of the Patriotic Association and the Council of Chinese Bishops.
Who stepped aside?
Bishop Peter Zhuang Jianjian, 89, of Shantou in Guangdong Province was asked to retire by Archbishop Claudio Maria Celli in 2019 so that Bishop Joseph Huang Bingzhang would be recognized by the Vatican as the Bishop of Shantou.
Bishop Joseph Guo Xijin, 62, of Mindong/Funing in Fujian Province. In October this year, Guo announced that he was retiring to concentrate on prayer because he did not “want to become an obstacle to progress.” Guo was an underground bishop who previously agreed to become an auxiliary bishop so that state-appointed Bishop Zhan Silu would be recognized by the Vatican. “In any circumstance or change, you should never forget God, and neither ignore the Lord’s commandments, nor damage the integrity of faith, nor delay the salvation of the soul, which is the most important thing,” he said in a letter to his diocese Oct. 5.
Who is missing?
Bishop James Su Zhimin, 88, of Baoding in Hebei Province. The whereabouts of Bishop Su, who has spent 24 years in prison, is unknown. He was arrested by Chinese authorities in 1997. He was last seen by family at a hospital in 2003 while he was in government custody.
According to Bishop Su’s nephew, Chinese officials have reportedly asked the Vatican to appoint a new bishop of Baoding, UCA News reported on July 22. Their preferred candidate is said to be Coadjutor Bishop Francis An Shuxi, a member of the Chinese Catholic Patriotic Association, the state-sanctioned church.