Sunday, October 30, 2016

"Vatican, China Consider Deal on Selection of Bishops After Decades of Division"

WSJ:

If Pope Francis and Chinese leaders sign off on the proposed deal, the pope would accept eight bishops ordained by the Chinese government without the Vatican’s permission.

...

It would be a diplomatic breakthrough for the pope, who has eagerly pursued an opening to China that eluded his predecessors, though re-establishment of diplomatic relations between China and the Vatican—which Beijing severed in 1951—would remain a distant goal.

Vatican officials, however, are bracing for strong protests from Chinese Catholics in the so-called underground church, some of whose members have suffered imprisonment or other punishment for defying government control of the church, and who could regard the agreement as a lopsided win for Beijing and hence a betrayal of their fidelity.

The deal would defer many thorny issues, including the legal status of underground Chinese bishops loyal to Rome, who currently operate without government approval.