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Vatican’s agreement with China will be renewed at the end of the year

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Pope Francis has been clear about his desire to go to China, but the Vatican Secretary of State has chosen to proceed with caution.

Cardinal Pietro Parolin points out that, even if Francis is willing, right now the conditions are not in place for the first papal trip to China.

The Secretary of State, however, is more optimistic on the state of diplomatic relations with the country. He says the Holy See-China agreement for the appointment of bishops will be renewed at the end of this year.

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The growing dialogue between the two countries was evident through the Bishop of Shanghai’s trip to Rome, where he participated in a congress promoted by the Vatican.

The importance of this gesture is clear by looking back to April 2023, when China’s bishops’ conference, controlled by the government, transferred the bishop to Shanghai without authorisation from the Holy See.

The Vatican Press Office learned of this transfer through the media. This move directly violated the Holy See-China agreement that was signed in 2018 and its content has remained confidential.

Three months after what was described as a “unilateral” move by China, Pope Francis officially approved the appointment of the bishop of Shanghai, as a means to maintain dialogue with the country.

According to Cardinal Parolin, the situation has improved in the last year. In the future, the Vatican hopes to have a permanent office opened in China.

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