China extends deal with Vatican on bishops by two years

Worshippers attend a Christmas Eve mass at the Xishiku Cathedral in Beijing. - AFP

BEIJING (Reuters): China and the Vatican have decided to extend a deal on the appointment of Roman Catholic bishops in China by another two years, the Chinese foreign ministry said on Thursday (Oct 22).

The Vatican's accord with Beijing, signed two years ago, expired on Thursday (Oct 22).

It gives the Pope the final say over the appointment of Chinese bishops, and the Chinese government allows all of them, including those hailing from a state-backed Church, to recognise the Pope's authority.

China and the Vatican will remain in close communication, foreign ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian told a press briefing.

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