MOSCOW (Sputnik) — On Tuesday, Bishop Joseph Zhang Yinlin was ordained in a ceremony in Anyang, the central Chinese province of Henan, held under strict police control. Zhang received an approval from the Vatican. The official Chinese church also announced his ordination, the media outlet reported.
In 1949, the Communist Party of China severed official ties with the Vatican amid a desire to run its own church, known as the Chinese Patriotic Catholic Association, and appoint its own priests and bishops to exclude papal control.
According to the newspaper, the official Chinese church will only promote and ordain candidates with the Holy See’s approval.
The further improvement of relations between China and the Vatican remains uncertain amid protests of the faithful caused by the removal of crosses from Protestant churches in Zhejiang Province, where Christianity is popular.
According to various estimates, a number of Catholics living in China ranges from 9 to 12 million.