Vatican China Agreement

But the disadvantages of this relationship far outweigh the advantages. Almost any diplomatic agreement can be made at the expense of one`s own convictions. Today, mainland China has about a hundred Catholic bishops; Many are very old, but all are now reunited because of the agreement with the Pope. About thirty of them belong to the underground Church and refuse to join the Chinese Catholic Patriotic Association, so they are not recognized by the Beijing authorities. The situation of these bishops has become more difficult since the agreement, because, contrary to Rome`s expectations, the Chinese authorities have pressured clandestine bishops and priests to submit to the religious policy of the state. Despite criticism from the U.S. State Department and human rights agencies, the Vatican is renewing a two-year-old agreement with the Chinese Communist Party, which offers the Chinese government a leading role in appointing Catholic bishops in the country. Although the full details of this agreement have not been fully disclosed, some have announced the Pope-backed agreement as an asset for ecclesial diplomacy. After all, the Holy See has not maintained diplomatic relations with China since 1951 and this agreement keeps the line of communication open, it must be admitted. She explained that the teaching of the Second Vatican Council «on the particular role of the Supreme Pope within the Episcopal College and in the appointment of the bishops themselves inspired the negotiations» and was «a point of reference in the elaboration of the text of the agreement». Zhao Lijian, a spokesman for the Chinese Foreign Ministry, said: «After friendly negotiations, China and the Vatican have decided to extend the provisional agreement on the appointment of bishops for two years.» As China has more than 40 dioceses in need of a new bishop, the Vatican will want to see the election and appointment of many of these bishops and their approval by the Pope before October 2022, when the experimental phase will end.

This would be a first real confirmation of the provisional agreement and an important sign of Beijing`s goodwill. After years of slow negotiations, the Vatican sealed a historic «provisional» agreement with Beijing on September 22, 2018. The deal has drawn opposition from conservatives in the Church, who argue that it has exhausted those who have suffered for decades in the chinese underground Catholic Church because these faithful had refused to recognize bishops appointed by the communist government and not by Rome. The agreement, they argue, effectively tolerated China`s religious freedom and human rights violations. «My main objection to the deal is that we don`t know what it is,» U.S. Cardinal Raymond Burke, the de facto head of Criticism of Pope Francis within the Church, said in a brief interview before welcoming Pompeo to an event hosted by the U.S. Embassy in the Vatican last month. The note said two bishops, Bishop Antonio Yao Shun of Jining, an autonomous region of Inner Mongolia, and Bishop Stefano Xu Hongwei of Hanzhong, in central Shaanxi Province, were appointed in accordance with the agreement. Other ordinations are underway, the note said, although the pandemic has slowed things down. Two years ago, the Holy See reached an agreement with the Chinese Communist Party in the hope of helping Chinese Catholics. But the CCP`s abuse of believers has only gotten worse. The Vatican compromises its moral authority if it renews the agreement. However, since the signing of the agreement, only two bishops have been appointed in China, whose appointments had been agreed by both sides long before. An informed source informed America that more episcopal appointments are expected soon. . . .