Home > Archives
BEIJING (Reuters) - China, which bans its Catholics from recognising the Pope, has turned down a Vatican invitation to four Chinese bishops to go to Rome, saying it showed no respect.
Beijing has not had diplomatic ties with the Vatican since 1951, two years after the Communist takeover in China, and insists that relations cannot be resumed unless Rome severs links with self-ruled Taiwan, which Beijing claims as its own.
The four bishops invited to Rome were on a list of prelates from around the world that the Pope had named to be members of next month's synod, the Vatican said on Thursday.
The China Patriotic Catholic Association is the state-backed Catholic church. Catholics who recognise the Vatican are forced to worship underground.
"If the Holy See has deep sincerity to improve China-Vatican relations, we hope they take real actions, rather than put up new barriers," the spokesman said.
The four bishops are Anthony Li Duan of Xian, Aloysius Jin Luxian of Shanghai, Luke Li Jingfeng and Joseph Wei Jingyi.
Li Duan and Jin were appointed by the government from the state-backed church and their appointments were later tacitly recognised by the Vatican.
Li Jingfeng had been a member of the underground church but was later recognised by the Chinese government. Wei remains a member of the underground church.
The Vatican estimates it has about 8 million followers in China, compared with about 5 million who follow the association.
The Vatican has regularly accused China of violating human rights and criticised the government for what it sees as the repression of religion.
After his election in April, Pope Benedict said he hoped to establish diplomatic relations with countries that still had no formal ties with the Vatican, a clear reference to China, the only major power not to recognise the Pope.
Beijing congratulated the Pope on his election, raising hopes in some quarters of a possible warming in relations.
Neighbours heard cries of children being beaten
RM1mil reward offer for information on Dr M's alleged misdeeds
Body of child found buried in kitchen
‘Wild’ party ends for 51 at popular mall
Money down the drain
Image on Google Street View may be that of missing boy
Copyright © 1995-2015 Star Media Group Berhad (ROC 10894D)(Formerly known as Star Publications (Malaysia) Berhad)