China extends deal with Vatican on bishops by two years

FILE PHOTO: General view of Saint Peter’s Square in the Vatican City as Italians stay home as part of a lockdown against the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Rome, Italy March 22, 2020. REUTERS/Alberto Lingria

BEIJING (Reuters) – China and the Vatican have decided to extend a deal on the appointment of Roman Catholic bishops in China by another two years, the Chinese foreign ministry said on Thursday.

The Vatican’s accord with Beijing, signed two years ago, expired on Thursday.

It gives the pope the final say over the appointment of Chinese bishops, and the Chinese government allows all of them, including those hailing from a state-backed Church, to recognise the pope’s authority.

China and the Vatican will remain in close communication, foreign ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian told a press briefing.

Reporting by Gabriel Crossley; Writing by Ryan Woo; editing by John Stonestreet


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