- Mar 29, 2020
As rumors fly of an imminent Vatican-China deal on the appointment of bishops, a Belgian priest known as an expert on China said he thinks an agreement might really happen.
Government-backed bishops have spoken out publicly in support of the Vatican-China deal in a Chinese media interview at the Chinese Communist Party’s annual meetings this week.
Vatican diplomats’ efforts to reach an agreement with the Chinese government would turn bishops into government officials who cannot adequately shepherd their flock, Cardinal Joseph Zen has said.
In a recent blog post Cardinal Joseph Zen has issued another harsh critique of the rumored Vatican-China deal on the appointment of bishops, calling it an act of “suicide” and a “shameless surrender” to the communist government.
The Catholic Church in China registered 48,556 baptisms in 2017, reflecting the vitality and missionary strength of the Catholic communities there, according to a report by Fides, the news agency of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples.
A group of mostly Hong Kong-based academics, lawyers and human rights activists has warned that regularizing seven illicitly ordained bishops in mainland China would cause Catholics in the country to “be plunged into confusion and pain, and schism would be created in the Church in China.”