Editor in Chief: Moh. Reza Huwaida Tuesday, February 19th, 2019

Pope Says China Talks Going Well, Dialogue worth the Risk

Pope Says China Talks Going Well,  Dialogue worth the Risk

VATICAN CITY - Pope Francis has voiced optimism for improved ties between the Vatican and China, rejecting criticism that the Holy See may be selling out Catholics to Beijing’s communist government. The Vatican and China are in advanced talks to resolve a dispute over the appointment of bishops in China, one of the biggest obstacles to resuming diplomatic ties that were cut almost 70 years ago. “We are at a good point,” the pope told Reuters in an interview at his Vatican residence. China’s estimated 12 million Catholics are split between an underground Church that swears loyalty to the Vatican and the state-supervised Catholic Patriotic Association. Pope Francis did not comment in the interview on the details under discussion but said dialogue was the best way forward. “Dialogue is a risk, but I prefer risk rather than the certain defeat that comes with not holding dialogue,” he said. “As for the timing, some people say it’s ‘Chinese time’. I say it’s God’s time. Let’s move forward serenely.” Francis said the road to reconciliation with China was divided into three paths -- the official dialogue, unofficial contacts among ordinary citizens “which we do not want to burn,” and cultural dialogue. (Reuters)