15 July 2020, The Tablet

Francis’ Chinese puzzle: appeasing Beijing is a serious misjudgement

Francis’ Chinese puzzle: appeasing Beijing is a serious misjudgement

Archbishop Paul Gallagher, the Vatican’s foreign minister, greets Chinese foreign minister Wang Yi at a conference in February
Photo: CNS/Vatican Media


The former governor of Hong Kong fears that the Holy See may be making a serious misjudgement in seeming to appease the Beijing government over the status of the Catholic Church, just as China is slipping back into the most hardline dictatorship since Mao

I buy far too many books, so it comes as something of a relief to read about two that I definitely do not want to buy. In recent weeks The Tablet has referred to a couple of forthcoming books that muse about the identity of the next pope that will remain unpurchased so far as I am concerned. The fact that they both seem to make the case for a return to a constabulary Church, rather than a field hospital, a Church fit for Donald Trump, Steve Bannon and Breitbart News, is of course part of the reason for my refusal to place an order. But my reaction goes beyond this. I don’t want another pope for as long ahead as I can imagine.

Pope Francis is exactly the Pope that most Catholics, people of faith and those concerned about civic humanism on a global scale want – and, where appropriate, pray to have. A good and intelligent man, able to tell us in terms whose simplicity sometimes belies their profundity, how to live a decent, kind and generous life. He must be a wonderful confessor.

Get Instant Access

Continue Reading

Register for free to read this article in full

Subscribe for unlimited access

From just £30 quarterly

  Complete access to all Tablet website content including all premium content.
  The full weekly edition in print and digital including our 179 years archive.
  PDF version to view on iPad, iPhone or computer.

Already a subscriber? Login