10/17/2018 China (International Christian Concern) – According to statements by religious affairs officials in a recent Religious Affairs Committee seminar, the Chinese government believes the “Vatican’s policy of meddling in China had not been abandoned”. The seminar was held in Wuhan city of Henei province where the deputy director of the committee, Xiong Huaqi, asks that Catholics regulate their religious activities to protect government interests.
In a series of statements made by Xiong, he accuses some Catholics of having “lost their minds” because they do not know whether to be loyal to the church or the government. Xiong also stated that Catholics were “confused” on the idea of the church being self-administered and independent of the Vatican.
The provisional agreement signed by the Vatican and China on September 22 allows the Chinese government to appoint its own bishops without pontifical mandate. Although the Vatican hoped not to give up full control over the nomination of bishops, it hopes that it is a good step towards ensuring greater freedom and security for the Catholic community in China.
In rebuttal, Father Paul, of Hebei province, states that the content of the seminar were ridiculous because the Catholic Church has its own hierarchy. Father Paul warns the Vatican that the current Chinese regime’s “ultimate goal is to eliminate all religion”. This has only become more evident as the newly revised Regulations on Religious Affairs that were implemented has been a cause of increased persecution of the Chinese Church.
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