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Eleven ordained priests on Day of Prayer for China

BEIJING (AsiaNews): As Churches around the world prayed for the Church in China on the feast of Our Lady of Sheshan on May 24, also celebrated as Our Lady Help of Christians in most parts of the world,  people in Kunming, Chongqing and Xinjiang rejoiced at the ordination of 11 deacons as priests.

However, the joy was somewhat tempered, as nine of the 11 were ordained by Bishop Joseph Ma Yinglin, from Kunming, who was himself ordained a bishop without a mandate from the pope.

Faith Press published a list of the newly ordained. Bishop Wu Junwei, from Yuncheng (Xinjiang), ordained Reverend Han Bo at the Jinzhong Cathedral, where dozens of priests concelebrated. A relative of the new priest, Father Francis Hong Kongli, was also present.

Bishop He Zeqing, from Wanzhou in southwest China, ordained Reverend Peng Yueyu, from Chongqing, to the priesthood. More than 30 priests from Nanchong, Chengdu, Leshan, Yibin, Pingliang, Nanchang, Wanzhou and Chongqing were present at the ceremony. The nine ordained by Bishop Ma hail from the dioceses of Dali and Kunming. 

All are from ethnic minority groups in China. They were ordained at the Sacred Heart Cathedral in Kaiyuan, Honghe prefecture.

Father Ma Yongping, a Tibetan, comes from Dali, whilst Father Mao Qiaoshun is from the Jingpo people. Father Xiong Zhenglin, Father Tao Youde, Father Deng Jinmin, Father Tao Guangrong and Father Yang Weiming are all from the Miao people. They were ordained for the Kunming diocese.

The other two, Father He Yingping and Father Bi Hezhong come from the same diocese, but belong to the Yi people.

Bishop Ma heads the Bishops’ Conference of the Catholic Church in China and was ordained without a papal mandate in 2006.

This is the second time he has ordained deacons as priests. The first was in Dali in March 2012, involving six priests, also from ethnic minority groups.

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