China insists on control over Church
April 03, 2018
The Chinese government will insist on control over the Catholic Church and all other religious bodies, a spokesman has announced.
“China’s constitution is clear,” said Chen Zongrong, an official for the government’s religious-affairs office. “Foreign forces cannot be allowed to interfere with China’s religious environment and religious affairs.” The Beijing regime recently announced that all religious affairs would come under the control of the Communist Party.
Chen confirmed that the government is working toward an agreement with the Vatican, which would give the government authority to appoint new bishops, leaving the Pope with veto power over the proposed candidates. He stressed that the agreement would ensure that the Catholic Church would be fully Chinese.
The Chinese government has also released a new “white paper” on religion, stressing that “religions must be Chinese in orientation.” The government policy paper states that religions must be subject to the “active guidance” of the state.
In an analysis of the white paper, the AsiaNews service points out that the government lists the number of Catholics in China at 6 million, and the Protestant population at 30 million. Those figures clearly do not include the “unofficial” or “underground” churches, which are estimated to include another 6 million Catholics and 60 million Protestants. The government’s figures, AsiaNews observes, suggest that the regime will only recognize the rights of the official religious bodies sanctioned by the government.
For all current news, visit our News home page.
- White Paper on Religions: Beijing defends itself (AsiaNews)
- China Says It Has Made Real Efforts Toward Establishing Vatican Relations (Reuters)
- Vatican Deal Would Keep China in Charge of Church, Beijing Says (Wall Street Journal)
All comments are moderated. To lighten our editing burden, only current donors are allowed to Sound Off. If you are a current donor, log in to see the comment form; otherwise please support our work, and Sound Off!
Posted by: Jim Hanink -
Apr. 03, 2018 8:16 PM ET USA
Consider for a moment phrases like "genuinely Chinese" or "genuinely American." Perhaps the first point to make is that both such "genuine" peoples share a profound need for God's grace, a grace that comes with repentance. Such repentance is at odds with posturing nationalism, whatever the nation. The language of a tired diplomacy does not change reality.