Catholics in China should integrate into socialist society-senior party official

Source: Reuters

Chinese Catholics must run their church independently, implying at arms length from the Vatican, and guide believers on a “Sinicisation path”, said a senior Communist Party official, as China and the Vatican seek to improve relations.

Pope Francis is trying to heal a decades-old rift with China where Catholics are divided between those loyal to the Vatican and members of a Chinese government-controlled official church.

One of the obstacles to improving relations is the question of who should be able to appoint senior clergy.

China says bishops must be named by the local Chinese Catholic community and refuses to accept the authority of the pope, whom it sees as the head of a foreign state that has no right to meddle in Beijing’s affairs.

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