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Joseph Li Shan
is the Roman Catholic
The Catholic Church, also known as the Roman Catholic Church, is the world's largest Christian church, with over a billion members. Led by the Pope, it defines its mission as spreading the gospel of Jesus Christ, administering the sacraments and exercising charity...
An archbishop is a bishop of higher rank, but not of higher sacramental order above that of the three orders of deacon, priest , and bishop...
Beijing , also known as Peking , is the capital of the People's Republic of China and one of the most populous cities in the world, with a population of 19,612,368 as of 2010. The city is the country's political, cultural, and educational center, and home to the headquarters for most of China's...
China , officially the People's Republic of China , is the most populous country in the world, with over 1.3 billion citizens. Located in East Asia, the country covers approximately 9.6 million square kilometres...
. He was consecrated a bishop on 21 September 2007, at age 42 at a ceremony at Nan Tang (South Cathedral) at Xuanwumen. The ceremony drew little public attention, with Catholics numbering around 60,000 faithful among Beijing's 15 million people.
Archbishop Li's appointment was approved by the Vatican, and he is thus one of the minority of the Catholic bishops in China who are in full communion with Rome. This approval was granted before his ordination, as happened for several other in the early years of the 21st century, unlike others, of an earlier period, of whom Pope Benedict XVI
Benedict XVI is the 265th and current Pope, by virtue of his office of Bishop of Rome, the Sovereign of the Vatican City State and the leader of the Catholic Church as well as the other 22 sui iuris Eastern Catholic Churches in full communion with the Holy See...
wrote that they, "under the pressure of particular circumstances, have consented to receive episcopal ordination without the pontifical mandate, but have subsequently asked to be received into communion with the Successor of Peter and with their other brothers in the episcopate. The Pope, considering the sincerity of their sentiments and the complexity of the situation, and taking into account the opinion of neighbouring Bishops, by virtue of his proper responsibility as universal Pastor of the Church, has granted them the full and legitimate exercise of episcopal jurisdiction."
Sources close to Cardinal Joseph Zen have nevertheless criticized Archbishop Li Shan because of an alleged tendency to compromise with the Chinese Communist Party and Patriotic Church.
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