.- The director of the China’s State Bureau of Religious Affairs, Ye Xiaowen, has insisted on blaming the Vatican for the lack of progress in the restoration of diplomatic ties with his country and he said the breach with the Holy See “is still great.”
In statements to the South China Morning Post, Xiaowen said the Vatican resists accepting the two conditions demanded by China for diplomatic relations to be reestablished: a break in ties with Taiwan, and that the Vatican not get involved in the internal affairs of China, such as the naming of bishops.
“Only if the Vatican consents to these two principles will relations be able to continue forward. As of now they have not been accepted. Of course, the breach is still great,” he said.
Xiaowen also said that the government awaits “with great interest” the expected letter from Pope Benedict XVI to Chinese Catholics.
Beijing and the Vatican broke off diplomatic relations in 1951, when Mao Tse Tung launched a massive crackdown on all Christian organizations, which he accused of being “counterrevolutionary.” In 1957 authorities allowed for the creation of the Patriotic Church, whose bishops are chosen by the government. At that time the Church faithful to Rome went underground to flee persecution.