Despite criticism of a 2018 deal with China over the appointment of bishops, including from US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, a senior Vatican diplomat said Rome is optimistic the accord will be renewed by the end of the month and won’t walk away from it because “something had to be done.”
Had Rome not granted Beijing a significant role in choosing bishops, said British Archbishop Paul Gallagher, “We would have found ourselves – not immediately, but ten years down the line – with very few bishops, if any, still in communion with the Pope.”
“If we don’t begin now, that’s the future,” he said.
Gallagher confirmed the Vatican has proposed a two-year extension of the deal, the terms of which have not been made public since it’s a provisional agreement rather than a formal treaty. He told Crux the Vatican does not yet have a response from Beijing, and that if no answer is received by the end of the month, then the deal expires.