Vatican extends deal with China on naming bishops

Bishop Thaddeus Ma Daqin of Shanghai (CNS/UCA News)

The Vatican and the Chinese government will extend an agreement signed in 2018 regarding the appointment of bishops. Source: CNS.

As the initial agreement expired October 22, the two sides “have agreed to extend the experimental implementation phase of the provisional agreement for another two years,” the Vatican said in a communique on the same day.

“The Holy See considers the initial application of the agreement – which is of great ecclesial and pastoral value – to have been positive, thanks to good communication and cooperation between the parties on the matters agreed upon, and intends to pursue an open and constructive dialogue for the benefit of the life of the Catholic Church and the good of Chinese people,” it said.

The agreement was first signed in Beijing on September 22, 2018, and took effect one month later.

The provisional agreement, the text of which has never been made public, outlines procedures for ensuring Catholic bishops are elected by the Catholic community in China and approved by the pope before their ordinations and installations, according to news reports at the time.

The Vatican newspaper, L’Osservatore Romano, published an article on October 22 explaining the motivations for and objectives of the provisional agreement.

But the article also said it is important to recognise many situations of “great suffering” still exist for the faithful in China.

“The journey is still long and not without difficulty,” it added.


Vatican extends provisional agreement with China on naming bishops (By Carol Glatz, CNS)

Communiqué on extension of the Provisional Agreement between Holy See and China (Vatican News)

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