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Holy See and China: The Dialogue Continues

July 16, 2018. ‘To Build a More Serene and Fraternal Future’

The Holy See and the Chinese Authorities continue the dialogue, details of which are unknown, emphasizing that “if there is an agreement at the end,” “it will enable the Church to restore unity,” so that numerous dioceses, which have been without a Bishop for a long time” have “an accepted and recognized Pastor by the Church and the State.”

This was reported July 13, 2018, by Vatican News, but also warned that the result of this final “agreement” could cause dissatisfaction, suffering, renunciation, resentment” and even “new tensions.” However, if it’s also a harbinger of good, there won’t be winners or losers,” but “each one’s contribution will be considered precious.”

As Cardinal Pietro Parolin says, it’s not about “a wipe that ignores or, almost by magic, does away with the difficult path of so many faithful and Pastors, but of investing, with God’s help, the human and spiritual capital  of numerous efforts to build a more serene and fraternal future.”

The Vatican daily underscores that the Catholic Church in China, despite “numerous painful situations of irregularity, has never been considered as ‘separated’ from Rome, because  a doctrinal position of refusal of the primacy of the jurisdiction has never been elaborated in the Church in China.”

“The living desire to be in union with the Pope has always been present in the illegally ordained Chinese Bishops,” affirms Vatican News. The irregular condition of these Bishops has sparked a confrontation these last years between two opposite opinions: those that consider the illegitimate Bishops as sincere, believing in their repentance, and those that condemn them.

Precisely for this reason, as Cardinal Parolin says, it’s important that no one yield perpetually “to the spirit of opposition to condemn a brother,” but rather that “each regard the future of the Church with confidence, beyond every human limitation.”

“If there is a more fraternal and unitary restarting of the Catholic Church in China, while respecting the different sensibilities, it will have a positive resonance above all for the sacramental and spiritual life of the faithful, continuing to be always more fully Catholic and, at the same time, authentically Chinese,” concludes “Vatican News.”

Thus, “a new energy can be freed for the Church’s activities and for greater harmony in Chinese society. However, much will depend on the engagement of all and of good will.”