Hong Kong bishop hopes for nearer ties with Beijing diocese Lalrp SZD7NRG7HUI63J4OTJ6CIGFQBQ

BEIJING — Hong Kong’s Roman Catholic bishop stated in a historic trip to Beijing that he hopes the dioceses of the 2 cities can have extra exchanges and cooperation, native media reported Thursday amid indicators of Sino-Vatican strains.

Bishop Stephen Chow made the remarks throughout a Mass that was additionally attended by his counterpart in Beijing, Hong Kong’s public broadcaster RTHK stated. Chow later informed reporters he was inspired to go to different dioceses.

“I hope that this isn’t the final time,” Chow stated.

His five-day journey is the primary go to to Beijing by Hong Kong’s bishop in practically three many years and got here two weeks after Vatican Information, the information portal of the Holy See, reported that China had unilaterally appointed a brand new bishop to Shanghai.

China’s ruling Communist Get together intently controls organized faith, which it sees as a possible risk to its monopoly on energy. Persons are allowed to worship in establishments that abide by get together guidelines. Some Christians have arrange underground church buildings, that are thought-about unlawful and harassed by authorities.

The Vatican and China signed a provisional agreement over the appointment of bishops in 2018, a breakthrough on a problem that stymied diplomatic relations for many years and aggravated a cut up amongst Chinese language Catholics.

The settlement on Catholic bishops has been renewed twice, most just lately in October for 2 extra years. However a feud broke out a month later over the installation of an auxiliary bishop in Jiangxi province, which the Vatican doesn’t acknowledge as a diocese.

The deal has been harshly criticized by Hong Kong Cardinal Joseph Zen.

One other native broadcaster, i-Cable Information, quoted Chow as saying his journey was primarily about exchanges between dioceses, so they didn’t speak a lot on the problem of China and the Vatican.

After the Thursday Mass, some churchgoers in Beijing informed native media they welcomed extra exchanges between the 2 dioceses.

Chow, who was named by Pope Francis as Hong Kong’s bishop in 2021, started his journey Monday and joined a prayer session at a church that night. On Wednesday, he visited the tomb of Matteo Ricci, one of many first Jesuits to stay in China, who died in Beijing in 1610, RTHK reported. The go to was invited by his Beijing counterpart.