CNA Staff, Oct 3, 2020 / 05:10 am
Cardinal Pietro Parolin defended the Vatican's controversial deal with China Saturday, saying that all recent popes hoped for such an agreement on the appointment of bishops.
Speaking in Milan, Italy, Oct. 3, the Vatican Secretary of State confirmed that the Holy See was committed to renewing the agreement, which expires Oct. 22, saying it was "only a starting point" for better relations between the two states.
"For the dialogue to bear more consistent fruit it is necessary to continue it. On the part of the Holy See, therefore, there is the desire that the agreement be extended, ad experimentum [provisionally] as it has been so far, so as to verify its usefulness," the cardinal said at an event marking the 150th anniversary of the presence of the Pontifical Institute for Foreign Missions (PIME) in China.
Vatican News reported that Parolin reiterated a statement by Cardinal Giovanni Battista Re, Dean of the College of Cardinals, in February that Benedict XVI had approved the draft agreement on bishops' appointments "which could only be signed in 2018."