Bishop Francis Cui Qingqi, 57, is the sixth bishop to be consecrated in China since the Holy See signed a provisional agreement with the Chinese government in September 2018.
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Bishop Li is the third bishop to be consecrated since the deal’s renewal.
The rules do not mention any role of the Vatican in approving bishops, despite the 2018 Vatican-China agreement reportedly involving both Chinese authorities and the Holy See in the process of appointing bishops.
On October 21, the day before it was announced the deal had been renewed, Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Pietro Parolin told journalists that while he was “happy” with the agreement, he also acknowledged “there are also many other problems that the agreement was not intended to solve.”
Following the Vatican-China agreement in 2018, state officials in different regions of China removed crosses and demolished church buildings, and underground Catholics and clergy have reported harassment and detention.
A report by the Congressional China Commission, issued in January, noted that human rights abuses intensified in China during the 2019 reporting year, and the persecution of Catholics worsened after the Vatican-China deal was reached.