The Holy See is not naive about the strong opposition that the China-Vatican agreement has caused. Pope Francis clearly understands that this dialogue will not transform the situation of the Chinese Church overnight. But it has ended a schism that has lasted since 1957.
PUBLISHED ONFeb 2019
Here, China has made an enormous concession by recognizing that the Pope has the final word in the appointment of bishops, something which was previously regarded as unacceptable “interference” in Chinese internal affairs.
By lifting the excommunications on the bishops appointed by Beijing, Francis has also removed the reason that has led many priests and faithful, claiming to be faithful to Rome, to refuse to recognize those bishops. However, the Pope also understands how difficult it is to put an end to years of clandestinity.