The Vatican and China are preparing for a renewal of a historic deal on the appointment of bishops. The US has highly disliked the deal.
The Pope has been working hard to mend relations with China. But his decision runs against Trump’s efforts to push a religious freedom theme. The theme is against China for Trump’s second run as the president.
The secretary of state Mike Pompeo attacked China in a recent interview. He said that China is a threat to people of all faiths.
Further, he wrote that many countries had displayed “revulsion” at “accelerating violations of human rights”.
Belarusian authorities should allow the re-entry of Archbishop Kondrusiewicz, so he can tend to his flock during the ongoing protests. He and all Belarusian people must be allowed to exercise their fundamental freedoms, including freedom to worship. https://t.co/S5Gyiq7SdB
— Secretary Pompeo (@SecPompeo) September 1, 2020
Approximately 12 million Chinese Catholics have two associations: a government-run association and an unofficial church loyal to the Vatican.
The latter recognize the pope’s authority. And they face persecution for so.
The Vatican sealed a historical “provisional” agreement with Beijing in September 2018, the content of which has never been disclosed.
Pope Francis recognized eight Chinese bishops. Beijing appointed them without the approval of the Vatican.
Since then, two bishops have been appointed in China, with the satisfaction of the world’s 1.3 billion Catholics.
Earlier this year, Chinese and Vatican foreign affairs ministers met publicly at an event for the first time in seventy years.
WHERE IS THE AGREEMENT NOW?
Pope Francis has given the nod for the renewal of the agreement. It is still in “experimental” mode, for another two years.
The extension will be signed next month.
Diplomatic relations between Beijing and the Holy See broke down in 1951. That is, two years after the Communists came into power.
The Vatican wants good ties with Taiwan. The island with a population of 23 million, is considered by Beijing to be a breakaway Chinese province awaiting reunification.
The Vatican is Taiwan’s one and only diplomatic ally in Europe. Cervellera said he feared China will demand to break it off.
A spokesman said that the ideal with the Vatican was “implemented successfully.” He said that there had been an increase in “mutual trust and consensus”.
Further on, Pope’s right-hand man, Cardinal Pietro Parolin, said that the Church’s “interest with China is to normalize the life of the church”.
But he has admitted that the results so far “have not been particularly striking”.