Pope defends China deal on bishops, says he will have final say on names
ABOARD THE PAPAL PLANE (Reuters) - Pope Francis defended on Tuesday a landmark deal between the Vatican and China on the appointment of bishops, saying he, not the Beijing government, would have the final say on who was named. In his first public comments on the deal signed in Beijing on Saturday, Francis told reporters on the plane returning from a trip to the Baltics that he realised that not everyone would understand the logic behind it, but that he was confident in the 'great faith' of Chinese Catholics. 'It's not (that the government) names them
ABOARD THE PAPAL PLANE (Reuters) - Pope Francis defended on Tuesday a landmark deal between the Vatican and China on the appointment of bishops, saying he, not the Beijing government, would have the final say on who was named.
In his first public comments on the deal signed in Beijing on Saturday, Francis told reporters on the plane returning from a trip to the Baltics that he realised that not everyone would understand the logic behind it, but that he was confident in the "great faith" of Chinese Catholics.
"It's not (that the government) names them. It is a dialogue. But it is the pope who will appoint them. Let that be clear," he said of the deal, which was more than 10 years in the making.
The deal gives the Vatican a long-desired say in the appointment of bishops in China, though critics have labelled the deal a sellout to the Communist government.
China's approximately 12 million Catholics have been split between an underground Church swearing loyalty to the Vatican and the state-supervised Catholic Patriotic Association.
The Vatican said failure to reach a deal could have led to a schism between Chinese Catholics that would have been difficult to heal in the future.
"I think of the endurance of the Catholics who suffered. It is true that they will suffer. There is always suffering in an accord, but they have great faith," the pope said.
(Reporting by Philip Pullella; Editing by Gareth Jones)
This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.
By Robin Emmott and John Irish | BRUSSELS/PARIS BRUSSELS/PARIS France and Germany will agree to a U.S. plan for NATO to take a bigger role in the fight against Islamic militants at a meeting with President Donald Trump on Thursday, but insist the move is purely symbolic, four senior European diplomats said.The decision to allow the North Atlantic Treaty Organization to join the coalition against Islamic State in Syria and Iraq follows weeks of pressure on the two allies, who are wary of NATO confronting Russia in Syria and of alienating Arab countries who see NATO as pushing a pro-Western agenda."NATO as an institution will join the coalition," said one senior diplomat involved in the discussions. "The question is whether this just a symbolic gesture to the United States
BEIJING Chinese President Xi Jinping on Wednesday called for greater efforts to make the country's navy a world class one, strong in operations on, below and above the surface, as it steps up its ability to project power far from its shores.China's navy has taken an increasingly prominent role in recent months, with a rising star admiral taking command, its first aircraft carrier sailing around self-ruled Taiwan and a new aircraft carrier launched last month.With President Donald Trump promising a US shipbuilding spree and unnerving Beijing with his unpredictable approach on hot button issues including Taiwan and the South and East China Seas, China is pushing to narrow the gap with the U.S. Navy.Inspecting navy headquarters, Xi said the navy should "aim for the top ranks in the world", the Defence Ministry said in a statement about his visit."Building a strong and modern navy is an important mark of a top ranking global military," the ministry paraphrased Xi as saying.