By Hannah Brockhaus
A Vatican spokesman confirmed Wednesday that the fifth bishop to be created under the 2018 Vatican-China deal has been ordained.
Anthony Li Hui was appointed coadjutor bishop of the Diocese of Pingliang by Pope Francis on Jan. 11, according to spokesman Matteo Bruni.
Bruni said that Bishop Li was ordained in the Cathedral of Pingliang, in the province of Gansu, on July 28.
Pingliang, in north-central China, has a wider metropolitan population of more than two million people.
According to UCA News, the 49-year-old Bishop Li was consecrated by Archbishop Joseph Ma Yinglin of Kunming, president of the state-sanctioned Bishops’ Conference of the Catholic Church in China.
Bishops’ conference vice president Bishop Joseph Guo Jincai and Bishop Nicolas Han Jide of Pingliang were concelebrants.
Representatives of the Chinese Patriotic Catholic Association, a state-endorsed organization founded in 1957, were also present.
Li was born in 1972 in Mei county in the province of Shaanxi. He was ordained a priest for Pingliang diocese in 1996. He also studied the Chinese language at Renmin University in Beijing.
Starting in 1998, Li worked at the secretariat office of the Chinese bishops’ conference and the Chinese Patriotic Catholic Association in Beijing.
Before his appointment as bishop, Li was secretary of the Chinese bishops’ conference.
In October 2020, the Vatican and China renewed their provisional agreement on the appointment of bishops for another two years.
Bishop Antonio Yao Shun of Jining, in the Autonomous Region of Inner Mongolia, was the first bishop consecrated in China under the terms of the Sino-Vatican agreement, on Aug. 26, 2019.
Bishop Li is the third bishop to be consecrated since the deal’s renewal.