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Chinese priests, facing requirement to register, concerned about Vatican-Beijing talks

August 18, 2016

As reports proliferate about an imminent agreement between the Vatican and Beijing, a Catholic priest of the "underground" Church reports to the AsiaNews service that Chinese priests face an uncomfortable decision.

All religious leaders in China are required to register their status. For Catholic priests, registration is handled by the government-backed Catholic Patriotic Association. Pope Benedict XVI said that this group's claims are "incompatible" with the teachings of the Church, and the Vatican has not rescinded that statement. 

Should priests submit to registration with the Patriotic Association, and thereby lend credence to its illicit claims to authority? Or should they refuse to register, and expose themselves to the likelihood of government restrictions and harrassment? That question becomes even more critical if the Holy See is on the verge of an agreement with Beijing that would accept some role for the Patriotic Association. 

Unfortunately, Chinese Catholics report that they have received no information about the Vatican-Beijing talks. 

 
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