Francis calls relations with China ‘respectful’ after Mongolia trip

by | Sep 4, 2023 | Religion

ABOARD THE PAPAL PLANE (RNS) — Pope Francis praised the openness of the Chinese people and stated Russian culture must not be canceled because of politics during a press conference on Monday (Sep. 4) where he railed on the dangers of imperialism and ideology.The pope’s comments were made while answering questions by journalists aboard the papal flight returning form Ulaanbaatar in Mongolia, where he paid homage to the small Catholic community in the majority Buddhist country. The four-day visit was sometimes overshadowed by the neighboring country of China, which banned local bishops from traveling to the event.
“Relations with China are very respectful. I have a great admiration for the Chinese people. They are very open, so to speak,” the pope said.
The Vatican recently renewed a provisional agreement with Beijing on the appointment of bishops, which has caused controversy among Catholics due to its secrecy and ambiguity. The United States and Europe have also urged the Vatican to take a firmer stand when negotiating deals with China. While Francis praised “the good work” done by the Sino-Vatican commission led by the Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Pietro Parolin, China has often failed to respect the terms of the agreement and has recently imposed further …

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