Increasingly, Catholics in China want to re-establish relations with the Holy See and that the latter is ready to move from Taiwan to Beijing, said Bishop Zen Ze Kium.
The bishop of Hong Kong was recently named to the College of Cardinals by Pope Benedict XVI. His appointment will become official at the consistory at the end of March.
However, Liu Bainian, vice-chairman of the Patriotic Association of Chinese Catholics protested the new appointment, calling it "a hostile act in relation to China."
“The Patriotic Association of Chinese Catholics is obviously worried about the idea of a normalisation of relations between China and the Holy See," the bishop told reporters, responding to Bainian’s remarks. He urged Bainian instead to work to persuade Chinese authorities to allow the rapprochement between China and the Vatican, thereby creating greater harmony in society.
The Holy Father is not interested in politics, but in freedom of religion for the Chinese faithful, said the bishop.