Joseph Li Shan

Joseph Li Shan (Chinese: 李山; pinyin: Lǐ Shān; born March 1965 in Daxing District, Beijing) is the Catholic Archbishop of Beijing, China. He was consecrated a bishop on 21 September 2007, at age 42 at a ceremony at Nan Tang (South Cathedral) at Xuanwumen. His main consecrator to become bishop was John Fang Xingyao. Before becoming archbishop he served as parish priest of Saint Joseph's Church in Wangfujing.[1]

Joseph Li Shan
Archbishop of Beijing
Archbishop Joseph Li Shan 2014 (15606607701).jpg
ChurchCatholic Church
PredecessorNo immediate predecessor
Thomas Tien Ken-sin (1946-1967)
Other post(s)Parish priest at St. Joseph's Church
Consecration21 September 2007
Personal details
BornMarch 1965
MottoOmnia Omnibus (English:All things to all men)
Coat of armsJoseph Li Shan's coat of arms

He serves as the Vice-President of the state-controlled Chinese Bishops' Conference.[2]


Li Shan was born on March 1965 in Daxing District, China. His appointment as Archbishop of Beijing was approved by the Vatican. 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 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."[3]


Li Shan has spoken publicly in support of the Chinese government's push for Sinicization of religion in China, including support for the church in China selecting bishops on its own. In 2019 he made an address at the Beijing Catholic Forum for Sinicization of Theology. On the occasion he said:

The Sinicization of Catholicism, requires the upholding of a political self-consciousness and to always improve the political stance of its thinking. Catholicism tells us that love for one's country is the fourth commandment of the decalogue, "Be subject to every human institution for the Lord's sake." Supporting the leadership of the Communist Party and fervently loving our socialist motherland is the basic premise for upholding our country's direction to Sinicize religion. More than half a century ago, the Catholic Church of China took upon itself to choose its own holy bishops and advanced the Sinicization of the Catholic Church's organizational structure. Employing a system of a meeting of democratic representatives has advanced the Sinicization of the Catholic Church's institutional construction. In the running of theological seminaries, the Sinicization of personnel training has quickened. In the reform of the Chinese language Mass, the Sinicization of the form of the rite has been achieved. Among the construction of the clergy team, the strengthening of the Sinicization of the missionary team is never ending. Sinicization's advancement has obtained plentiful fruits.



On July 1, 2021, for celebrating the centenary celebrations of the founding of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), Bishop Li Shan organized a watch party of CCP general secretary Xi Jinping's speech at the bishop's residence in Beijing.[5]

In September 2021, he served as co-consecrator for Cui Qingqi's appointment as the new bishop of Wuhan. The appointment was done within the framework of the Sino-Vatican agreement.[6]

On Christmas 2021, Bishop Li Shan announced a year for the 'Son of God', which followed 2021's 'Year of God'. The parishes in Beijing, which had suffered many closures due to Covid restrictions, reportedly developed their own pastoral programs to put into practice for celebrating this special year.[7]

For Lent 2022, while churches in Beijing remained closed due to Covid restrictions, Bishop Li Shan issued a pastoral letter for Lent encouraging the faithful to engage in "abstinence from speech, eyes, ears, internet, bad temper and negative temperament". He also said to overcome the pandemic and its challenges "we need even more the power of faith". He also made a commitment to "accompany catechumens to live a life of holiness, incarnating the image of Jesus Christ".[8]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "The new Bishop of Beijing is elected". AsiaNews. 2007-07-18. Retrieved 2014-11-07.
  2. ^, Fr Cui Qingqi ordained Bishop of Wuhan, Herald Malaysia Online, retrieved September 9th 2021
  3. ^ Letter of 27 May 2007 to the Bishops, Priests, Consecrated Persons and Lay Faithful of the Catholic Church in the People's Republic of China
  4. ^, 在2019年北京市天主教中国化神学思想研讨会上的致辞 Tianguang newspaper, Joseph Li Shan's remarks at the Beijing Catholic Forum 2019, originally retrieved May 3rd 2021, January 20th 2022 -dead link, archived can be found on
  5. ^ Chinese Catholics and the Centenary of the Communist Party, fsspx news, retrieved August 25th 2021
  6. ^, Fr Cui Qingqi ordained Bishop of Wuhan, Herald Malaysia Online, retrieved September 9th 2021
  7. ^, ASIA/CHINA - Chinese Catholic communities are living the new pastoral year intensely, in a synodal spirit, Agenzia fides, retrieved February 22nd 2022
  8. ^, Agenzia Fides, ASIA/CHINA - Spirituality, concrete abstinence, conversion, pandemic: the Bishops' Lenten recommendations to accompany the synodal journey of the communities, retrieved March 10th 2022

External linksEdit

Catholic Church titles
Preceded by Archbishop of Beijing