VILNIUS (Reuters) – The Vatican mentioned on Saturday it had signed a historic joint settlement with China on the appointment of Roman Catholic bishops, although critics say the accord is a sell-out to the communist authorities.
The dome of Saint Peter’s Basilica is seen throughout the Epiphany mass led by Pope Francis on the Vatican January 6, 2017. REUTERS/ Stefano Rellandini
The provisional settlement, which was signed in Beijing by deputy overseas ministers from each side, was introduced as Pope Francis visited Lithuania at the beginning of a four-day journey to the Baltic international locations.
The Vatican mentioned the accord was “not political however pastoral.” A Holy See assertion didn’t point out Taiwan, which the Vatican acknowledges diplomatically and which China sees as a renegade province.
In accordance with Vatican sources, the accord provides the Vatican a say within the naming of bishops and grants the pope veto energy over candidates. China’s roughly 12 million Catholics are break up between an underground Church swearing loyalty to the Vatican, and the state-supervised Catholic Patriotic Affiliation.
The potential for such a deal had divided communities of Catholics throughout China, a few of whom concern higher suppression ought to the Vatican cede extra management to Beijing. Others need to see rapprochement and keep away from a possible schism.
Reporting By Philip Pullella; Enhancing by John Stonestreet and Helen Popper