Critics of the China-Vatican deal merely the loud minority: bishop

By Li Ruohan in Xi’an Source:Global Times Published: 2018/9/22 8:49:23

Critics of the long-waited agreement between China and the Vatican on the appointment of bishop are merely a “loud minority,” a Vatican bishop said Friday.  

“They are very strong in their position. They are loud, but there are not very many of them. They are a loud minority,” said Bishop Marcelo Sanchez Sorondo, also chancellor of the Vatican’s Pontifical Academy of Sciences.  

He made the remarks when asked to comment on a reported deal between China and the Vatican on the appointment of bishops, which critics say is a deal that “sells out” the Holy See.  

“In our interpretation, the critics are a little minority group of people, people who wanted to create trouble,” the bishop told the Global Times in an exclusive interview on Friday.   

Sorondo explained the importance of having this deal, or having China better involved in the Catholic world, is that “the country has a large population with good quality people, it observes the common good and it has proved its ability to great missions like fighting against poverty and pollution."    

Sorondo said that he agrees that the deal is the first step to get China and the Vatican into a formal and regular pattern of communication, which is praiseworthy.   

Sources with insider information on the agreement previously told the Global Times that the Vatican may send a delegation to China at the end of September, and if the talks go well, the agreement could be signed within this month.  

China's Foreign Ministry spokesperson Geng Shuang said at a daily briefing on Friday that he has no information on any visiting from a Vatican delegation, adding that China and the Vatican have maintained efficient contact.    

China is an influential power that respects human dignity and the planet. Pope Francis also attaches great importance to respecting human dignity and global efforts to fight against climate change, Sorondo noted.  

The Pope loves China and Pope Francis has a special interest in China, concerning his Jesuit background and the historic connections between the two sides, he said.    

Pope Francis is the first pope from the Society of Jesus. A famous Jesuit is Matteo Ricci, who is  renowned for being flexible in his approach to evangelization and deft at communicating with high-level Chinese officials throughout history, scholars previously told the Global Times.   

Sorondo was in Xi’an, the capital of Northwest China’s Shaanxi Province, for an international meeting for organ transplantation.

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