HOLY SEE, CHINA REACH ACCORD ON APPOINTMENT OF BISHOPS

Light of truth

The Vatican has signed an agreement with China, giving the Beijing government a role in the appointment of new bishops.

Although the terms of the accord were not made public, informed sources at the Vatican have confirmed that under the agreement, the Beijing government will name candidates for episcopal office, with the Pope allowed a choice from among the government’s nominees.

In announcing the agreement on September 22, the Vatican said that the agreement is “provisional” and “foresees the possibility of periodic reviews of its application.”

In a statement explaining the accord—recorded in English, in a departure from his usual pattern—the Vatican Secretary of State, Cardinal Pietro Parolin, stressed that “the objective of the Holy See is a pastoral one: the Holy See intends just to create the condition, or help to create the condition, of a greater freedom, autonomy, and organization” for the Catholic Church in China.

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