07 March 2018
Simon Scott Plummer
St Peter and the dragon: what's in a China-Vatican deal for Beijing?
Pope Francis has repeatedly expressed his wish to visit China. Such a visit would depend, at least, on an agreement over the appointment of bishops. This has been a long-running bone of contention but recent moves by the Vatican have given new impetus to its resolution.
The Holy See is prepared to recognise seven bishops appointed by the Chinese Government and has asked two of the “underground” bishops whose loyalty is to Rome to make way for two who belong to the Catholic Patriotic Association (CPA), the body set up by the Communists in 1957 to control the Church.
Thus far, then, the running has been largely made by Rome. But what is in it for Beijing?
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