Munich, Germany, Feb 14, 2020 / 16:13 pm
Archbishop Paul Gallagher, Secretary for Relations with States of the Holy See, met Friday with Wang Yi, the Chinese foreign minister, discussing their states' 2018 agreement on episcopal appointments.
The Feb. 14 meeting took place in Munich on the sidelines of the Munich Security Conference.
“In the course of the colloquy, which took place in a cordial atmosphere, the contacts between the two parties were evoked, which have developed positively over time,” according to a Holy See press office communique.
“In particular, there was highlighted the importance of the Provisional Accord on the nomination of bishops, signed 22 September 2018, renewing the willingness to continue the institutional dialogue at the bilateral level to promote the life of the Catholic Church and the good of the Chinese people,” the Holy See press office wrote.
The press office also said that “appreciation was expressed for the efforts being made to eradicate the coronavirus epidemic as well as solidarity with the affected population.”
The Vatican has sent between 600,000 to 700,000 face masks to three provinces in China since Jan. 27 to help contain the spread of coronavirus, and Pope Francis prayed for those infected during his Jan. 26 Angelus prayer.
The press office communique closed saying that “a desire for greater international cooperation to end of promoting civil coexistence and peace in the world was called for, and considerations on intercultural dialogue and human rights were exchanged.”
The Church in mainland China has been divided for some 60 years between the underground Church, which is persecuted and whose episcopal appointments are frequently not acknowledged by Chinese authorities, and the Chinese Patriotic Catholic Association, a government-sanctioned organization.