In China, Status Quo

During a visit to the Diocese of Brooklyn, part of a six-day trip to the United States, a high-ranking Vatican official from China says he does not expect much to change in church-state relations with the new Chinese government. “It’s not one of the immediate priorities of the new government,” said Archbishop Savio Hon Tai-Fai, secretary of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples. China unveiled its new Communist Party leadership on Nov. 15. Xi Jinping, the new president, repeatedly called for a “great renewal” in his acceptance speech, but that renewal may not include a re-evaluation of its relationship with the Vatican. “They have many other things to take care of,” said the archbishop. The Chinese government has frequently clashed with the Vatican, particularly over the approval of episcopal appointments.

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