The present and past bishops of Hong Kong have offered in-depth reflections on the relationship between China and the Vatican, in lengthy articles for the AsiaNews service.
Hopefully Pope Francis remains firm on what Pope Benedict said on this matter. With how the government has been treating Christians in China of late it would be folly to give in and let the government dictate who can be a bishop in China.
European leaders have exercised the right to veto who should be elected Pope. “In 1721 the German emperor formally excluded Cardinal Paolucci; in 1730 the King of Spain excluded Cardinal Imperiali; in 1758 France exercised this right to exclude Cardinal Cavalchini. In the nineteenth century Austria maintained the right of exclusion, in 1830, against Cardinal Severoli, and Spain, in 1830, against Cardinal Giustiniani; in 1903 Austria again exercised this right, this time against Cardinal Rampolla.”
First the article itself says it cannot be a definitively proven right. And it’s also a right that, if real, was only exercised by major Catholic nations in papal elections. We’re talking about a non-Catholic, anti-religious, government dictating who will be allowed to be bishop for a particular diocese in their country. Completely different issue.
There is great fear among the faithful that the pope will strike a deal with the Patriotic Association and accept their terms.