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Bishop consecrated in China; diocese lacked bishop since 1962

July 15, 2010

Msgr. Antonio Xu Jiwei, ordained a priest in 1985 and now age 75, was consecrated bishop of Taizhou on July 10 with the approval both of the Holy See and of the Chinese government. Taizhou is a city of 1.5 million in Zhejiang province in eastern China, and 5.8 million people live in the metropolitan area.

The diocese, which has lacked a bishop since 1962, has 25 churches, 15 priests, 10 nuns, and 6,000 faithful; Bishop Xu had served as administrator since 1999. The four prelates who took part in the episcopal consecration-- Bishop Giuseppe Li Mingsu of Qingdao, Bishop Giuseppe Zhao Fengchang of Liaocheng, Bishop Giuseppe Xu Honggen of Suzhou, and Bishop Giuseppe Han Yingjin of Sanyuan-- are both recognized by the Chinese government and in communion with the Holy See.

Bishop Xu originally entered the seminary at the age of 13 in 1948. During the Cultural Revolution, “he was sentenced to five years in prison and then to long years of forced labor,” according to a Vatican Radio report.


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