Parolin confirms Vatican delegation’s visit to Beijing in October

  • strict warning: Only variables should be passed by reference in /home/abounaor/public_html/english/sites/all/modules/captcha/captcha.inc on line 61.
  • strict warning: Non-static method view::load() should not be called statically in /home/abounaor/public_html/english/sites/all/modules/views/views.module on line 1113.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_handler_field::query() should be compatible with views_handler::query($group_by = false) in /home/abounaor/public_html/english/sites/all/modules/views/handlers/views_handler_field.inc on line 0.
  • strict warning: Declaration of content_handler_field::element_type() should be compatible with views_handler_field::element_type($none_supported = false, $default_empty = false, $inline = false) in /home/abounaor/public_html/english/sites/all/modules/cck/includes/views/handlers/content_handler_field.inc on line 0.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_handler_sort::options_validate() should be compatible with views_handler::options_validate($form, &$form_state) in /home/abounaor/public_html/english/sites/all/modules/views/handlers/views_handler_sort.inc on line 0.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_handler_sort::options_submit() should be compatible with views_handler::options_submit($form, &$form_state) in /home/abounaor/public_html/english/sites/all/modules/views/handlers/views_handler_sort.inc on line 0.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_handler_sort::query() should be compatible with views_handler::query($group_by = false) in /home/abounaor/public_html/english/sites/all/modules/views/handlers/views_handler_sort.inc on line 0.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_handler_filter::options_validate() should be compatible with views_handler::options_validate($form, &$form_state) in /home/abounaor/public_html/english/sites/all/modules/views/handlers/views_handler_filter.inc on line 0.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_handler_filter::query() should be compatible with views_handler::query($group_by = false) in /home/abounaor/public_html/english/sites/all/modules/views/handlers/views_handler_filter.inc on line 0.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_plugin_query::options_submit() should be compatible with views_plugin::options_submit($form, &$form_state) in /home/abounaor/public_html/english/sites/all/modules/views/plugins/views_plugin_query.inc on line 0.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_plugin_style_default::options() should be compatible with views_object::options() in /home/abounaor/public_html/english/sites/all/modules/views/plugins/views_plugin_style_default.inc on line 0.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_plugin_row::options_validate() should be compatible with views_plugin::options_validate(&$form, &$form_state) in /home/abounaor/public_html/english/sites/all/modules/views/plugins/views_plugin_row.inc on line 0.
  • strict warning: Non-static method view::load() should not be called statically in /home/abounaor/public_html/english/sites/all/modules/views/views.module on line 1113.
  • strict warning: Non-static method view::load() should not be called statically in /home/abounaor/public_html/english/sites/all/modules/views/views.module on line 1113.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_handler_field_user::init() should be compatible with views_handler_field::init(&$view, $options) in /home/abounaor/public_html/english/sites/all/modules/views/modules/user/views_handler_field_user.inc on line 0.
  • strict warning: Non-static method view::load() should not be called statically in /home/abounaor/public_html/english/sites/all/modules/views/views.module on line 1113.
  • strict warning: Only variables should be passed by reference in /home/abounaor/public_html/english/sites/all/modules/captcha/captcha.inc on line 61.
  • strict warning: Only variables should be passed by reference in /home/abounaor/public_html/english/sites/all/modules/captcha/captcha.inc on line 61.

Parolin confirms Vatican delegation’s visit to Beijing in October

By Gianni Valente

The Vatican Secretary of State said there is a dialogue under way and the Holy See considers this to be “very positive”.

Around mid-October, a Holy See delegation flew to Beijing to continue the process of dialogue with the People’s Republic of China. Until yesterday, October 29, the news that circulated in the media was nothing more than a rumour. Official confirmation of the meeting came from the most authoritative of sources, the Vatican Secretary of State, Cardinal Pietro Parolin.

Pope Francis’ Secretary of State told journalists that China and the Holy See are currently engaged in a dialogue, a fact the Holy See vies as “very positive”. His statement came at the end of the meeting at the Pontifical Gregorian University to mark the 50th anniversary of the conciliar declaration “Nostra Aetate”. Parolin’s exact words were as follows: “It is not the first time a papal delegation heads to Beijing. It is part of a process aimed at the normalisation of relations. The sheer fact we are able to talk about it is significant.” The cardinal avoided making any predictions regarding the possible outcome of a resumption of dialogue, after Francis’ repeated affirmations that he would love to go to China and would even go “tomorrow”. “We sincerely do hope so; everything we do, we do with a view to reaching an understanding and in order to establish normal relations with China and Beijing, as we have with the vast majority of countries in the world. Naturally, the fact we are engaged in dialogue is a positive thing.”

The cardinal’s words are an authoritative confirmation of the rumours that have been circulating with regard to the “satisfaction” both sides felt in light of the discussions that took place in Beijing from 11 to 16 October. Belgian missionary Jeroom Heyndrickx, a highly experienced Catholic “Sinologue” informed that the Vatican delegation was made up of six people and that during their stay in China, the six delegates apparently visited Beijing Cathedral – where they met Bishop Giuseppe Li Shan, who is recognised both by the Holy See and the government – and the national Seminary.

“China is always in my heart!” Francis repeated during his recent interview with Paris Match magazine. The interview was published while the Vatican delegation was in China. A month ago, during the flight to Rome on his way back from Philadelphia, the Bishop of Rome mentioned that the Holy See was “in contact” with China and that there were “good relations” between the two. On that occasion too, the Successor of Peter stressed his wish to visit China, referring to it as “a friend, a great country like China, which has so much culture and has so much opportunity to do good”.

The insistent and clear messages sent out by Pope Francis and the Secretary of State, are an unequivocal sign that he process of dialogue between Beijing and the Holy See has resumed. The aim is to nurture a sense of mutual trust and to deal with and resolve certain problems that are still putting a strain on Church life in China, starting with the question of episcopal appointments. In the first decade of the new millennium, the attempts to break the deadlock seemed to be leading towards reasonable solutions. In those years, Chinese authorities avoided imposing episcopal ordinations that did not have the Pope’s approval, preferring choices being made jointly, by both the Pope and the government. In his Letter to the Church in China, which was published in the summer of 2007 – which to this day represents a clear and articulate understanding of the Catholic Church’s expression of the “Chinese question” – Ratzinger said he was confident “that an accord can be reached with the Government so as to resolve certain questions regarding the choice of candidates for the episcopate”. In that same Letter, the Bavarian Pope pointed out that “the solution to existing problems cannot be pursued via an ongoing conflict with the legitimate civil authorities”.

With this in mind, between 2007 and 2009, Chinese and Vatican representatives - with the Vatican delegation being led by the then “deputy minister of foreign affairs” Parolin – met on several occasions in Rome and twice in Beijing to come to a framework agreement on the issue of episcopal appointments.

This promising phase in the negotiations came to a swift end in the most enigmatic reversal of circumstances in the history of Sino-Vatican relations. Parolin, who headed the Vatican side of the negotiations, was appointed Nuncio to Venezuela. In March 2010, a Vatican Commission on China which existed at the time, released a statement requesting, amongst other things, that Chinese bishops did not participate in meetings convened by “patriotic” bodies, in other words, the entities that manage the government’s religious policy. In response to this, in the period from November 2011 through to July 2012, Chinese officials proceeded to arrange another series of illegitimate episcopal ordinations, which were celebrated without the Pope’s approval. For the first time, the Holy See declared that these illegitimately ordained bishops automatically incurred canonical excommunication.

Now, this umpteenth nose-dive in Sino-Vatican relations seems to be a thing of the past. Dialogue has revived and seems more solid this time. Many – first and foremost the many “clandestine” Catholic bishops who have not been recognised as such by the Chinese government – are expecting this fresh start to bring bountiful fruits to the lives of those in China who bear Christ’s name and for the entire Chinese people.

Fri, 10/30/2015 - 12:52
Comment through the site Comment through facebook

Comments

Post new comment

The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly.
CAPTCHA
This question is for testing whether you are a human visitor and to prevent automated spam submissions.
Image CAPTCHA
Enter the characters shown in the image.