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Vatican defends China bishop negotiations on eve of US visit

Pope Francis Pope Francis |  Photo: Vatican TV via AP

Nicole Winfield
Created: September 29, 2020 10:58 PM

ROME (AP) - The Vatican has answered critics and justified its pursuit of an extended agreement with China on bishop nominations.

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The Holy See articulated its position on the eve of a visit by U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, who this month wrote a harsh critique of the Vatican’s 2018 accord with China.

Pompeo is scheduled to headline a religious liberty conference on Wednesday with the Vatican secretary of state and foreign minister, two architects of the deal.

The 2018 accord was aimed at uniting the Catholic flock in China, which is divided between an official church recognized and regulated by the Beijing government, and an underground church that has been loyal to Rome. 

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Nicole Winfield

Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

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