As the expiration of a provisional agreement on the appointment of bishops signed between the Vatican and China approaches, the Vatican secretary of state said he hopes it will be extended. Source: CNS.
“Our intention is that it will be prolonged, that it will continue to be adopted ‘ad experimentum,'” or on a trial basis, said Cardinal Pietro Parolin, according to SIR, the news agency of the Italian bishops’ conference.
The “provisional agreement”, signed by representatives of the Vatican and the Chinese government in September 2018, is set to expire in October.
The agreement was panned by several Church leaders, including Cardinal Joseph Zen, the 88-year-old retired archbishop of Hong Kong, who has been one of its strongest critics.
Speaking to journalists on the sidelines of an event commemorating the 45th anniversary of the Helsinki Accords on Monday, Cardinal Parolin said he believes Chinese authorities may also want to continue the agreement.
While there has been no confirmation from the Vatican, the Reuters news agency reported on Monday that, according to a source, Pope Francis had approved an extension of the agreement.
“With China, our current interest is to normalise the life of the Church as much as possible, to ensure that the Church can live a normal life, which for the Catholic Church means also having relations with the Holy See and the pope,” Cardinal Parolin said.
Although the Vatican also is concerned with issues such as “peaceful coexistence and overcoming tensions,” the current agreement is focused on the “ecclesiastical issue” of bishop appointments, the cardinal said.
Cardinal Parolin hopeful Vatican-China agreement will be extended (By Junno Arocho Esteves, CNS)