By drifting away from the commitment that had made with the Vatican in a 2018 agreement, China has yet again shown its true colours when it comes to protecting its minority communities’ interests.
The accord was supposed to end decades of disagreement between the church and Beijing by making the appointment of bishops a joint decision of the Pope and Chinese authorities. A few days after the accord was reached, the Pope declared the agreement a breakthrough. The Pope had told reporters: “What is there is a dialogue on potential candidates, but Rome nominates, the Pope nominates, that’s clear.”
The regulations issued this month by China’s State Administration for Religious Affairs make no mention of a papal role. Whereas, only state agencies, including the Chinese Catholic Patriotic Association, are involved.
Estimates of the numbers of Chinese who belong to the underground church range from three million to 12 million. Its members have been subject to repression, even during the two-year run of the agreement.