VATICAN CITY (Reuters) – Pope Francis urged China’s leaders on Wednesday to move ahead with “trust, courage and farsightedness” after Beijing and the Vatican struck a landmark agreement on the appointment of bishops.
In Beijing, a Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman said China was sincere about wanting better relations with the Vatican and that the bishops’ agreement was an important step forward.
The accord, which critics have called a sellout to the Communist government, gives the Vatican a say in the choice of bishops in China. It could also be a precursor to restoring diplomatic ties with Beijing after more than 70 years. The Vatican only has diplomatic ties with Taiwan, China’s rival.