Ties between the Vatican and Beijing could be put under strain after China's official Catholic church nominated a candidate to lead the Beijing diocese, the South China Morning Post reported. A group of priests, nuns and laymen voted for Father Joseph Li Shan to be appointed bishop over three other candidates on Monday. Li's appointment now requires approval from the Chinese Catholic Patriotic Association (CCPA) and the Catholic Bishop's College, neither of which answer to the Vatican. The CCPA refused to comment on whether it would consult the Pope on the issue. The move comes three weeks after the Holy See wrote an open letter to China's Catholics, expressing his hope that the Vatican and Beijing could agree on a way to appoint bishops.