Posted by: becketfund | February 19, 2008

China: Vatican-China talks could cement diplomatic relations with papal visit

BEIJING – With rising criticism ahead of the Olympic games, China has been engaged in talks with Vatican officials with hopes of establishing diplomatic relations, the Catholic News Agency reported on February 19. While a papal visit is unlikely before the games begin, the announcement of a visit could give Chinese officials a boost in international image before the games. Debate continues around the issues of bishop appointments and relations with Taiwan. In December, the politburo convened its first meeting on the topic of religion. President Hu showed signs of being more open to religion: “The party and government shall reach out to religious believers in difficulties and help them through their problems. We shall fully understand the new problems and challenges to manage religious affairs so that we can do it right.”

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