Catholic faith must adhere to China rules, Beijing says
BEIJING | China’s head of religious affairs said Beijing is willing to have constructive dialogue with the Vatican but stressed that Catholics should “hold up high the flag of patriotism” and adapt Catholicism to Chinese society.
Wang Zuo’an, the director of the State Administration for Religious Affairs, made the remarks Tuesday. Beijing insists that the party-controlled Chinese Catholic Patriotic Association has the authority to appoint Chinese bishops, a decision the Holy See says belongs to the pope alone. The dispute is the most vexing stumbling block preventing the re-establishment of diplomatic relations.
China severed relations with the Holy See in 1951 after the Communists took over.