Pope, China 'have a very good relation': Vatican bishop

By Li Ruohan in Kunming Source:Global Times Published: 2017/8/5 13:27:51

Pope Francis loves China and the pontiff and China "have a very good relation", said the chancellor of the Vatican's Pontifical Academy of Sciences (PAS) who is attending a conference on organ transplantation in Kunming, Southwest China's Yunnan Province.

"We need to make a distinction between a formal agreement and the real things [that are happening among the public]. The real thing is that at this moment China and Pope have a very good relation," Bishop Marcelo Sanchez Sorondo told the Global Times in an exclusive interview on Friday. 

China and the Vatican have no diplomatic relations and the two sides have been negotiating a way to appoint bishops in China.

He said the Vatican is committed to addressing the issue of climate change, which the Chinese people closely follow, and the Pope considers very important. 

The 75-year-old bishop added that one message he would like to tell Chinese Catholics is that the Pope loves the Chinese people and its history. 

The message was reaffirmed in Sorondo's speech at the China Organ Donation and Transplantation Conference in Kunming on Saturday. 

"My final message is that Pope Francis loves China and the Chinese people and their history, just as the Jesuit Matteo Ricci loved them," Sorondo said in his speech.

This is the first time that the PAS has joined other influential international societies for a conference in China on organ donation and transplantation. The conference comes after Chinese representatives were invited, also for the first time, to the PAS Global Summit on Organ Trafficking and Transplant Tourism at the Vatican in February. 

After the Vatican meeting in February, China was committed to eradicating corruption in organ trafficking, he said.

China is becoming a leader in the fight against organ trafficking and global efforts to address climate change, and it's very important because China greatly influences the world, especially in the Asia-Pacific region, Sorondo noted.

Posted in: DIPLOMACY

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