Rome-approved bishop to be ordained in Diocese of Changzhi

A Vatican-appointed bishop in China will be elevated to his new bishopric on November 10 after two years waiting for approval from Beijing.

Bishop Peter Ding Lingbin will be ordained for the Diocese of Changzhi, home to at least 50,000 Catholics, at a ceremony to be held at the Cathedral of Ss Peter and Paul.

The long delayed move has been seized upon by watchers of China-Rome relations as an indicator that the rumoured accord between Church and state has in fact been realised and its announcement imminent. It is notable that Pope Francis and Chinese President Xi Jinping have demonstrated a mutual regard on a number of occasions, though this must be set against the wider context of China’s ongoing drive to further control religion as a source of ‘threat’ to the communist state.