Vatican, China working toward accord? [CWN]


The Vatican is pushing for an agreement with Beijing over the appointment of Catholic bishops in China, according to a special report from the Reuters news agency.



Seems a dangerous line for the Vatican to cross to approve of bishops that are in essence being forced on them by the Chinese.

And at the same time this line made me chuckle, “At the same time, Communist ideologues insist that no religious group in China can answer to a foreign authority.”

They do realize that excludes Catholicism entirely, and arguably all of Christianity if you consider Christ a foreign authority.


Could the Chinese government be looking at this as a way to infiltrate the Catholic Church? Or am I silly to think that China would every try such a thing…?


I don’t know if the Catholic Church would be in danger of being “infiltrated” by a couple of bishops. Rather I think the concern is more that its a loss of control of a process the church has more or less always had sole control over. The church dictates who its bishops are, not outside sources. Indeed that’s true of any branch of Christianity with bishops.


Yes, this seems like a very bad idea on the surface. I am not sure why the Chinese government would even go for this sort of agreement, as they have nothing to gain from giving anything up to the Vatican. Secondly, I don’t think that the Chinese government can be trusted to uphold their end of the deal. If this pact is made, it has a serious chance of backfiring.


Never trust communists!!!



Believe me, China NEVER does ANYTHING unless its to their benefit. They think LONG TERM.

I am certain this will not be good for the Church in the long run, or even in the short term. Pope Francis and the Church are being duped by the Chinese government. Count on that.


There are two sides to this story - the other side is that the Chinese government would have to give recognition to bishops who are currently “underground” but valid Church bishops.

I think the Chinese government knows that Christianity is gaining a strong hold in their country, after years of persecution.

As someone else pointed out, they think long term. You can be sure the issue of the church is a regular item of discussion in their higher ranks.

And the Vatican is not going to given in to a one-sided deal. It’s tougher than that.


Chinese have long memories. They are still smarting from the insult of the Rites Controversy and the papal interference involved in that.

The Vatican has to demonstrate that they can be trusted this time around. Maybe the election of a Jesuit has gotten the Chinese interested in talking again.


This is not the first time the Vatican has been in talks with communists. They were in talks with the Soviet Union when it existed.


I don’t think now is a good time to be negotiating with the PRC. Lately they have been on a campaign tearing down crosses from church buildings across the country. That doesn’t bode well.


Yeah I was wondering how safe it would end up being for the underground official bishops to come out publicly. I mean China is not above spiriting away “foreign” religious leaders (ie: those officially appointed/revealed by what they see as outside religions such as the Panchen Lama) and replacing them with their own internally appointed replacements. The real bishops come into the public eye they may quickly vanish.


You’re absolutely right. It could be a ploy to lull the Church into a false sense of security and lure it out of hiding.


Probably the not very good best case would be that the Vatican would have to recognize all the PCA bishops and priests as legitimate in exchange for the underground church coming out.
The PRC would also probably demand a veto on appointments of future bishops.


I certainly hope that the Holy See would never in a million years agree to any of that…

PS: Quite the signature you have there. I wonder why no one’s ever called her out on it.


PS: Quite the signature you have there. I wonder why no one’s ever called her out on it.

Well it fits with Sanger’s philosophy. The authors of Frekonomics speculated that the abortion of many poor/minority children was in part for the drop in crime from the 90s forward because they didn’t grow up to be criminals.
Of course they didn’t investigate the corollary; many middle and upper class women aborting children because motherhood would hold back their careers.

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