Why Vatican deal with China on bishops should not surprise
- The Catholic Church in China will now be in a situation similar to that in Vietnam
Any negative reaction to the recent Vatican-China agreement whereby all bishops in China will be “in communion with Rome” is foolish (“Vatican signs historic deal with China on bishop appointments”, September 22).
That is because the Catholic Church in China will now be in a situation similar to that in Vietnam. In Vietnam, the Vatican has also reached an agreement with an atheist communist government (which allows religious freedom within state limits). There, after three candidates are selected, the Holy See and Vietnamese officials negotiate the selection and appointment of the most suitable person for bishop.
Pope Francis is simply following the example of a predecessor who signed agreements for pastoral reasons with the Nazi government of Adolf Hitler and the government of Japan during the second world war.
Francis Vrijmoed, Yuen Long