A top Chinese official has cautioned that the Beijing regime has not reached an agreement with the Vatican on the appointment of bishops, and dismissed any possibility that bishops of the “underground” Church will be recognized by the government.
In an interview with the South China Morning Post, Liu
Bainian, the head of the Catholic Patriotic Association, said that the
“underground” bishops (who have been recognized by the Holy See but not
by the government) are “unfit for the [Communist] Party to work with.”
Liu Bainian was reacting to an article in which Cardinal John Tong
Hon of Hong Kong had said that an agreement on the appointment of
bishops appeared imminent.
Cardinal Tong had speculated that the Vatican
would eventually recognize the bishops who have been appointed by the
government, and the government in turn would recognize the “underground”
Cardinal Tong had also suggested that the Patriotic Association,
which now claims authority over the Catholic Church in China, could be
transformed into a voluntary organization.
Liu Bainian scoffed at that
“There’s no such proposal being heard on the mainland yet,” he
The Chinese official said that an agreement regarding the appointment
of bishops has not yet been reached, and will be determined by “the
future of dialogue between China and the Vatican.”