Vatican City, Jan 30, 2018 / 07:17 am
On Tuesday the spokesperson for the Pope, Greg Burke, sent a statement asserting that Pope Francis is well-informed on the situation of the Catholic Church in China, and that it is "regrettable" that some members of the Church have said the contrary, thereby sewing "confusion and controversy."
The Jan. 30 statement declared that "the Pope is in constant contact with his collaborators, in particular in the Secretariat of State, on Chinese issues, and is informed by them faithfully and in detail on the situation of the Catholic Church in China."
He also follows closely "the steps in the dialogue in progress between the Holy See and the People's Republic of China," it continued, and "it is therefore surprising and regrettable that the contrary is affirmed by people in the Church, thus fostering confusion and controversy."
Burke's statement contradicts a letter by Cardinal Joseph Zen of Hong Kong, who wrote Jan. 29 that at a recent meeting Pope Francis was "surprised" to learn about the handling of conflict between the Church and the Chinese government, about which he had been reportedly informed in October 2017.