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Papal envoy says Vatican-China deal ‘a step in the right direction’

Papal envoy says Vatican-China deal ‘a step in the right direction’

Archbishop Gabriele Giordano Caccia (center), the Apostolic Nuncio to the Philippines, said the provisional agreement between China and the Vatican is “a step in the right direction”.

By Melo Acuña

September 25, 2018

Manila, Philippines

The agreement between China and the Vatican is a “step in the right direction,” Pope Francis’s envoy to the Philippines said.

Papal nuncio Archbishop Gabriele Caccia said the Church is always sincere about improving ties with China.

“When there’s a possibility to work together for the common good, it’s something good and help overcome possible divisions,” he said.

Pressed for additional details of the historic agreement, Caccia said his information is limited to what has been released to the media by both the Holy See and China.

“It is a provisional agreement on the appointment of bishops, very specific,” the nuncio said, adding that he looks forward for a united Catholic community in China.

China has some 10 million Catholics.

Caccia acknowledged every situation is different “and there are different exigencies and different histories so each one is borne of particularity which is not the same everywhere.”

He also said that they view the agreement from a pastoral point of view more than diplomatic perspective.

The Vatican on Saturday said that it had reached a “provisional agreement” with the Chinese government to end decades of tensions over the right to appoint bishops in China.

The deal removes the illegitimate status of seven bishops who were appointed by China without the Vatican’s approval, and were excommunicated.

The agreement also gives the pope a say in appointing bishops, and grants him veto power over candidates.