Vatican And China Agreement
After the announcement of the Sino-Vatican decision to extend the agreement, he wrote in the journal Mondo e Missions: “The recently renewed agreement between the Holy See and China is not [a peace agreement] between the two sides: it is not the end of the problems for Catholics in China, nor does it sanction religious freedom in China. It is a compromise that many violently dispute and others celebrate with excessive enthusiasm. This is not a situation that is beneficial to everyone. I think the Vatican paid a higher price than Beijing. It is an agreement that the Holy See might not have been able to do without creating other difficulties for Catholics in China. The Holy See and the Beijing government jointly announced a two-year extension of the 2018 agreement, which expires on Thursday. And he expressed hope that the Vatican would take tougher measures against China by extending the agreement. After years of slow negotiations, the Vatican sealed a historic “temporary” agreement with Beijing on September 22, 2018. There are many other unresolved issues on which the Vatican intends to reach an agreement with the Chinese authorities in due course. Among them, it will want Beijing to eliminate or at least suspend the practice of convening the clergy on the basis of political indoctrination and make them “disappear” indefinitely for this purpose. “The Holy See considers as positive the initial application of the Agreement – which is of great ecclesial and pastoral value – through good communication and cooperation between the parties on the agreed issues on the agreed issues. , and intends to conduct an open and constructive dialogue for the good of the life of the Catholic Church and for the good of the Chinese people.
Today, there are about 100 Catholic bishops in mainland China; Many are very old, but all are now united with the Pope because of the agreement. About 30 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, the Chinese authorities used it, contrary to Rome`s expectations, to put pressure on the clandestine bishops and priests to submit to the religious policy of the state. However, since the signing of the agreement, only two bishops have been appointed in China and their appointments had been agreed long before by both sides.