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Chinese pastor to be made a bishop after two year wait

by Hannah Tooley

Msgr Peter Ding Lingbin was approved to become a bishop in 2013 but due to tense relations between the Vatican and China he has had to wait two years to be allowed to go ahead with his ordination.

He used to be a doctor before working in the Catholic Church.

In the past the Vatican does not approve what is deems unofficial bishops, and China does not recognised bishops approved by the Vatican because they are not appointed by the Communist party.

Vatican officials have been banned in the country since the 1950s.

The Christian was approved to become a bishop in 2013 and on Thursday will become the Bishop of Changzhi, the AsiaNews service reports.

Msgr Peter Ding Lingbin, 54, was ordained a priest in 1991.

This appointment has been a point of controversary as the Chinese government recognised another bishop in this position, who was ordained without permission from the Vatican in Rome.

Bishop Andrea Jin Daoyuan was given the position, during his time he tried to build relations with the Vatican and has now retired.

The authorities have said only those with a special pass can attend, however it is thought that around five thousand Catholics live in the area and only a handful of people have passes.

The ordination reflects a thawing relationship between the Vatican and China, a the deal between the two bodies appears to be imminent, but critics say this does not acknowledge China's humans rights abuses.

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