.- The Vatican’s top foreign-policy official told Italian reporters this week the Catholic Church in China is not seeking privileges, but rather freedom to exercise its internal affairs.
In an interview with an Italian newspaper, Archbishop Giovanni Lajolo, Secretary for Relations with States, said, “As in all countries, the Church in China is not seeking any privileges, just to be free in its internal organization.”
In May Pope Benedict XVI publicly criticized the decision by the Chinese government to appoint two bishops without the Holy See’s approval, and he called the move a “grave violation of religious freedom.”
“Chinese officials should not interfere in the internal affairs of the Church, particularly in the appointment of bishops,” Archbishop Lajolo said. Respect for the Church’s internal affairs would be of “enormous benefit for peace among the people, who are currently forced to choose between obligatory obedience to the so-called Patriotic Church and belonging to the sole Catholic Church, the only one that is in communion with the Pope.”