Basil (Shuang) of Beijing

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His Grace Bishop Vasily (Shuan) of Beijing was the first ruling bishop of the Autonomous Chinese Orthodox Church.


Ignaty Shuan, the future bishop, was born in Beijing on December 23, 1888. Little is known about his early life. He later completed theological seminary at the Spiritual Mission, Beijing, and was ordained to the diaconate on May 11, 1915, by Bishop Innokenty (Figurovsky).

Dcn Ignaty, after 33 years serving as a deacon, was ordained in 1948 to the priesthood. On August 30 of that year, he was also tonsured a monk with the name Vasily. Hmk Vasily was then elevated to Hegumen and was appointed spiritual director of Holy Dormition Monastery and Holy Protection Monastery, a male and female monastery (respectively).

In July 1950, Hegumen Vasily was elevated to archimandrite, and in December of the same year, Archimandrite Vasily was appointed director of the Catechetical School of the Mission, in addition to being made a member of the administration of the East-Asian Exarchate.

Greater honour was to come to Archimandrite Vasily when, in 1951, Patriarch Alexy offered Archim. Vasily the bishopric of Tianjin, but this was declined by Archim. Vasily, who gave the reasons of unworthiness and infirmity (being 69 years old). At this point, Archimandrite Vasily was the dean of the Holy Dormition Cathedral, Beijing, and was temporary administrator of the diocese of Beijing. In February of this year, Archim. Vasily was appointed a member of the Council of the Spiritual Mission.

However, the episcopacy was not to be denied. On May 17, 1957, Archimandrite Vasily was consecrated Bishop of Beijing in the Holy Transfiguration church, Moscow, by Metr. Nikolai of Krutitsk and Kolomensk, Abp. Victor of Krasnodar and Kuban, and Abp. Makary of Mozhaisk.

The first head of the Autonomous Chinese Orthodox Church was not to rule this post very long. On January 3, 1962, Bp. Vasily reposed, with no successor.

Succession box:
Basil (Shuang) of Beijing
Preceded by:
Bishop of Beijing
Succeeded by:
none as yet
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External Links

Biography on Orthodoxy in China.