China leaves Pope without power to choose bishops

A September 2018 agreement between China and the Vatican on selecting Roman Catholic bishops in China may not be as historic as it was described when announced.

The way the government of President Xi Jinping views it, nothing really changed.

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. He told reporters: “What is there is a dialogue on potential candidates, but Rome nominates, the Pope nominates, that’s clear.”

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