Diocese of Beijing

Bishop Li

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Bishop Joseph Shan Li



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Bishop Joseph Li Shan was born into a devout Catholic family in March 1965. On Sept. 21, 2007, at age 42, he was consecrated a bishop at a ceremony at Immaculate Conception of Our Lady Cathedral in Beijing (photos on top), which is also known as Nan Tang (South Church). His father and his elder sister, who is a nun of St. Joseph's Convent of Beijing diocese, were among the 30 or so nuns and about 800 Catholics at the ordination Mass.

Hours after the ceremony took place, the Vatican stated that Pope Benedict XVI approved the ordination of the new Bishop of Beijing. The Vatican considers Beijing an archdiocese, while the government-approved Church authorities in China, who conducted the ordination, recognize only dioceses.

The newly ordained bishop of Beijing has pledged to uphold the banner of loving the country and the Church, to lead his diocese to abide by China's Constitution, maintain the country's unity and stability and contribute to the development of a harmonious society.

Bishop Johan Fang Xingyao of Linyi, Shandong province, and six co-ordainers ordained the new Vatican-approved bishop. The co-ordaining prelates were Bishops Damas Zhang Hanmin of Jilin, Louis Yu Runchen of Hanzhong, Joseph Ma Yinglin of Kunming, and Jin Daoyuan of Changzhi, and Coadjutor Bishops Paul Pei Junmin of Liaoning and Peter Fang Jianping of Tangshan. All but Bishops Ma and Jin are Vatican-approved, and most of them were ordained in the last 10 years.

About 50 priests, mostly from Beijing, concelebrated the Mass, and a few state and local government officials also attended.

The cover of the ordination Mass booklet presents Bishop Li's motto from 1 Corinthians 9:22, "Omnia Omnibus" (all things to all people), on his coat-of-arms, depicting a shield as background to guard the pure faith of the Church.

The coat-of-arms displays "A" and "M," initials of Ave Maria, denoting Our Lady's blessing to the Church, and a dove symbolizing the Holy Spirit.

It also shows an image of Beijing's Temple of Heaven and an olive branch, meaning the Church takes root in Chinese culture and hopes to build a harmonious society with all Catholics and citizens of China.

Bishop Li was elected to take up the position left vacant after the death of Bishop Michael Fu Tieshan of Beijing, who was the president of the Chinese Catholic Patriotic Association (CCPA).

Previous Ordinaries:

  • Thomas Tien Ken-sin, S.V.D. (Apr 11, 1946 Appointed - Jul 24, 1967 Died)
  • Paul Leon Cornelius Montaigne, C.M. (1933-1946)
  • Fran├žois-Ferdinand Tagliabue, C.M. (1884-1890)
  • Louis-Gabriel Delaplace, C.M. (1870-1884)
  • Edmond-Fran├žois Guierry, C.M. (1868-1870)
  • Joseph-Martial Mouly, C.M. (1856-1868)
  • Alexandre de Gouveia, T.O.R. (1782-1808)