Beijing, China, Mar 13, 2018 / 02:02 am
Government-backed bishops have spoken out publicly in support of the Vatican-China deal in a Chinese media interview at the Chinese Communist Party's annual meetings this week.
Bishop Peter Fang Jianping of Tangshan is a member of the National People's Congress, the Chinese government's legislative body which voted to eliminate presidential term limits March 11.
Bishop Fang said Catholics should support President Xi Jinping "because we, as citizens of the country, should first be a citizen and then have religion and beliefs," in a Chinese media interview at the congressional meeting.
Fang, who was ordained a bishop in Beijing in 2000 without Vatican approval and then legitimized by the Holy See two years later, is also reported to have expressed confidence that the Vatican and the Chinese government could reach an agreement on the appointment of bishops to promote the development of the Church in China, according to the The Union of Catholic Asian News.