VATICAN CITY (AP) — A Chinese Catholic bishop has been consecrated with Pope Francis’ approval, in the first such ordination since the Vatican and China signed a landmark deal last year over naming bishops.
Vatican spokesman Matteo Bruni confirmed Tuesday that Monsignor Antonio Yao Shun had received a papal mandate. He was therefore legitimately consecrated bishop of Jining, in Inner Mongolia, at a ceremony Monday.
It was the first bishop ordination since the Vatican and Beijing signed an agreement Sept. 22 over bishop nominations. The Vatican hoped the deal would end decades of estrangement, unify China’s Catholics and bring all Chinese bishops into full communion with the Holy See.
Details haven’t been released, but Francis says it involves a process of dialogue, including to nominate candidates, but that he has the final say.