Mike Pompeo finally met with the Vatican secretary of state. Francisco confirms his willingness to extend the agreement with Beijing.
Pope Francis refused to receive this Thursday the US Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, who is a very conservative Catholic, as several Vatican sources had already advanced. The meeting was with the Secretary of State, Cardinal Pietro Parolin, who had various reproaches what to do to the contents but also to the brusque ways of Washington’s diplomacy.
Pompeo also said his: the United States of Donald Trump, in full electoral campaign, considers China the worst enemy and the battle against Beijing has unleashed a cold war.
The head of American diplomacy reached the maximum of pressure by writing an article in the traditionalist American magazine “FirstThings”Shaking Jorge Bergoglio diplomatically. “If it renewed the agreement with China, the Vatican would endanger its moral authority. Almost an insult.
The Washington Chancellor’s visit coincided with the negotiations between China and the Holy See to renew the secret interim agreement signed two years ago, which establishes the fin the great conflict between Beijing and the Vatican in the appointment of bishops.
With relations broken since the beginning of the communist regime, a very difficult situation was consolidated. On the one hand, the so-called “underground Church”, loyal to the pontiff of Rome who appointed the bishops and the “patriotic Church”, which did not accept communion with Rome.
Those responsible for the dioceses came out of the “patriotic” sleeve under the direct command of the Chinese Communist Party, which is in charge of relations, often openly persecutory, with religious cults.
In China, Catholics came from the hand of the Jesuits six centuries ago. They have accumulated a long tradition and a mass of twelve million faithful in recent decades, loyal to the Church and the Pope.
The conflicts have been endless, with bloody repressions by the regime. The “Patriotic Church” also developed but both its faithful and the bishops loyal to Beijing themselves dreamed of a settlement.
Two years ago the first Interim Agreement was signed whose clauses are secret. Although the cases of repression continued, the mechanism has worked. There were no “patriotic” bishops appointed. All those announced have the agreement of the regime and especially with the pontifical legitimation. In fact it is the effective beginning of reunification.
From the Vatican, journalist Andrea Tornelli, a strategic communications official very close to Francis, summarized that the objective of the Interim Agreement was never diplomatic and even less political, but “genuinely pastoral.”
“Its purpose is to allow the Catholic faithful to have bishops in full communion with the Successor of Peter, and at the same time recognized by the authority of the People’s Republic of China,” he explained.
The Pope and the Communist regime in Beijing they want to renew the agreement for another two years from October 22, prolonging the experimentation of the Interim Agreement. The Vatican delegation is leaving for the capital of China, which has received the letter from the Pope approving the renewal. The contents will remain secret for another two years. Later it will be seen.
The symposium held Wednesday at the embassy was a open pressure on the Vatican. The “Minister of Foreign Affairs” (Secretary for Relations with States), Monsignor Paul Gallager, answered without hiding his annoyance with a “yes” to the journalistic question if the meeting was not an attempt to exploit the Pope in full electoral campaign North American.
“This is one of the reasons why the Holy Father will not receive Pompeo,” he added. In the US, including high levels of the Catholic Church, many accuse the pontiff of maintaining an “anti-western” position. Massimo Franco wrote on Wednesday in the Corriere della Sera that those sectors “have found in Secretary of State Pompeo a powerful megaphone.”
At the Symposium at the US Embassy, the Pope’s Chancellor was given two minutes to explain himself. I was outraged. “It’s not done like that,” she told a journalist.
Pompeo spoke in front of Cardinal Secretary of State Pietro Parolín, with whom he met this Thursday, and Monsignor Gallagher, both sitting in the front row. He incited the Pope to give up the agreement with Beijing in the appointment of bishops to pressure the communist government in defense of the religious freedom of minorities.