HONG KONG/VATICAN CITY (Reuters) – A landmark deal between China’s leaders and the Vatican over the appointment of bishops has been struck without Beijing taking action on long-held Church concerns over clerics in detention, Catholic Church sources familiar with the matter say.
The agreement, which gives the Vatican a long-desired say in the appointment of bishops in China, was signed last Saturday, but details have not been made public.
Three sources aware of the substance of the provisional deal say the plight of a dozen or so detained priests and bishops, some elderly, remains unresolved and will be subject to on-going Vatican efforts. Beijing has provided little clear information about their fate despite repeated Vatican requests in recent years, the sources said.
A senior Vatican source said the precise number still believed to be in detention was not clear.