Pope Francis to name three Chinese bishops?

Possible Breakthrough in Vatican-China Relations

A report by Paolo Salom of the Italian daily Corriere della Sera on January 30 said that the Vatican is set to announce that Pope Francis will appoint bishops (“probably three” the report adds) in the People’s Republic of China. The new development is the result of an intense albeit discrete diplomatic work started under Benedict XVI and hastened with the election of Pope Francis. The agreement reached between the Holy See and China calls for the government to present some “desirable” candidates from which the Roman Pontiff can choose one. Salom remarks that the move represents a major step 64 years after the Papal Nuncio fled Beijing in 1952.

Should the report be true, the Vatican will have to withdraw its Nuncio in Taiwan, a condition laid by Beijing for any rapprochement. This also makes possible the visit of the Holy Father to the China.

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