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Vatican foreign minister: Results of agreement with China ‘not terribly impressive’

July 21, 2022

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CWN Editor's Note: Commenting on the 2018 provisional agreement with China on the appointment of bishops, the Holy See’s Secretary for Relations with States said in an interview that “the balance sheet, I suppose, is not terribly impressive. We’ve had six episcopal appointments, and there are some others in the pipeline.”

“If we can work successfully with the Chinese authorities on the appointment of bishops, then that obviously helps both parties to begin to examine other questions as well,” Archbishop Paul Richard Gallagher added. “I think the Chinese are in agreement that there should be a gradual raising of the level of direct contact between us.”

Commenting on the May arrest of retired Hong Kong Cardinal Joseph Zen, Archbishop Gallagher said, “I think his arrest was something that for us was very surprising, and we hope that the matter can be resolved satisfactorily in the near future.”

Asked to comment on current Hong Kong Bishop Stephen Chow’s concerns about the decrease of religious freedom there, Archbishop Gallagher said that “the Holy See is committed to the defense of religious freedom. If the bishop feels that the space for Hong Kong Catholics is diminishing, we obviously regret that.”

The above note supplements, highlights, or corrects details in the original source (link above). About CWN news coverage.


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  • Posted by: feedback - Jul. 23, 2022 9:34 AM ET USA

    Vatican II "Christus Dominus," paragraph #20: "This holy council desires that in future no more rights or privileges of election, nomination, presentation, or designation for the office of bishop be granted to civil authorities." Francis not only violated the decision of the Council, but he granted the privilege to one of the most hostile to the Church regimes on the planet. And what does exactly "not terribly impressive results" mean? Is it about the amount of bribe involved, or something else?

  • Posted by: Randal Mandock - Jul. 21, 2022 9:42 PM ET USA

    Interesting words used by the Vatican diplomat: surprising, satisfactorily, feels, regret. On reflection, might "surprising" suggest incompetence on the part of the Vatican diplomatic corps? Cardinal Zen has never been able to meet with Pope Francis. Cardinal Zen is hated by the Chinese government. Would his silencing resolve the Zen problem "satisfactorily" for both sides? To "feel" is an emotional, not rational, term. Feelings are a weak platform for diplomacy. "Regret"? How about "we agree"?