Updated: September 15, 2020 10:34 AM GMT
Cardinal Pietro Parolin said the Vatican wants the China Church to 'live a normal life.' (Photo: AFP)
The Vatican wants to extend its two-year-old agreement with China on bishops' appointments, the Vatican's Secretary of State Cardinal Pietro Parolin has said.The cardinal, who was instrumental in creating the agreement signed in September 2018, told media on Sept. 14 that the Vatican is hoping to renew the deal when it expires next month."The agreement has not yet expired," Cardinal Parolin said, clarifying that it is due to expire in October when two years are completed since it came into force.
The agreement, which was the first bilateral pact since 1951 when Vatican and China severed diplomatic relations, aims to provide Vatican-approved bishops in China rather than state-appointed bishops.Cardinal Parolin said the agreement was signed "ad experimentum" (as an experiment) and the Vatican plans to continue in that fashion."Our intention is that it [the agreement] be prolonged, that we continue to adopt it ad experimentum, as has been done in these two years, to further verify its usefulness for the Church in China," he said, according to a report by Rome-based Zenit news service.The church leader expressed hope that China is interested in continuing with the agreement."I think and hope so, even if these first results were not particularly striking. However, it seems that a direction has been marked that is worth continuing. Then we will see at the end of this further period what to do," he said.The cardinal, who has been criticized for pushing the agreement without adequate consultation with leaders of the Chinese Church, said the deal aimed to benefit the Church in China."As we have said many times and here too, our interest is to normalize life as much as possible so that the Church can live a normal life," he said.