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Inside the VaticanApril 14, 2023
Bishop Stephen Chow Sau-yan concelebrates his installation Mass at Immaculate Conception Cathedral in Hong Kong Dec. 4, 2021. (CNS photo/Tyrone Siu, Reuters)

China has breached its long-fought-for agreement with the Vatican on the appointment of bishops. On April 4, Bishop Shen Bin was transferred from the Diocese of Haimen, where he had been an auxiliary bishop, and installed as the bishop of Shanghai, the largest Roman Catholic diocese in mainland China.

Matteo Bruni, the director of the Vatican Press Office, confirmed the installation in a statement on April 6. The Holy See had been informed of the appointment only “a few days prior,” Mr. Bruni said, and was only alerted to the bishop’s installation through reporting in the mainstream media. It appears the appointment is in direct violation of the highly controversial bilateral agreement that the Vatican reached with China in 2018, and renewed last October. “It's the pope's prerogative to nominate the bishop to a diocese,” says Gerry. “Many people are now—even those who are quite in support of the agreement—are raising questions.”

In the second half of the show, Gerry and Ricardo review “The Pope: Answers,” a new documentary film on Hulu. In the documentary, Pope Francis has a conversation with 10 young people from Spain, Senegal, Argentina, Peru, Colombia and the United States, aged between 20 and 25 years old.

Among them are an atheist; a porn content creator; a nonbinary person; a survivor of sexual abuse; and a former nun from Peru, who is lesbian. They talk candidly about sexual abuse, the pope’s salary, loss of faith and dating apps like Tinder. “It’s such an intimate and personal film,” says Ricardo. “It really was a good example of what it is to live out synodality, which is what Pope Francis is calling us to do, really listen to each other.”

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Links from the show

New bishop installed in Shanghai

Holy Week

“The Pope: Answers”

Twenty-five years of the Good Friday Agreement

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