2023-01-25 07:22:03

The AP Interview Takeaways: the Pope on 'Patience' in China

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U.S. News & World Report
By Associated Press

VATICAN CITY (AP) Saying we must walk patiently in China, Pope Francis views continued dialogue with Beijing as the guiding principle in his efforts to safeguard his flock, who are a small minority in that Asian nation.

The Associated Press, in an exclusive interview on Tuesday with Pope Francis at the Vatican, asked what comes next in the diplomatic overtures between both countries.

We are taking steps, Francis replied. Each case (of a bishop's nomination) is looked at with a magnifying lens. The pontiff added that that's the main thing, the dialogue doesn't break.

As for Chinese authorities, sometimes they are a little closed, sometimes not, Francis said.

The pope sidestepped a question about how the Vatican's relationship with Taiwan affects the dialogue. The Holy See is one of the few states to maintain formal ties with Taiwan instead of with China.

Francis has been criticized by more conservative factions of the Catholic Church for a 2018 agreement with Beijing over the appointment of bishops in China, given how that country's Communist authorities have at times imprisoned priests. Among his harshest critics is Cardinal Joseph Zen, the emeritus bishop of Hong Kong.

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