Will Pope Francis meet with Chinese leader?

President Xi Jinping will be in Italy March 21-23, but Chinese sources say they doubt he will meet with pontiff

Chinese president Xi Jinping at a press conference after a meeting with the German chancellor in Berlin, July 5, 2017. (Credit: 360b/Shutterstock.)

As Chinese President Xi Jinping travels to Rome this week, there has been much speculation as to whether his trip will also include an unofficial visit with Pope Francis.

Ahead of the Chinese president’s arrival in Italy March 21, the AP reported that Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Pietro Parolin said, “Our door is always open.”

“The proclamation of the Gospel in China cannot be separated from a stance of respect, esteem, and trust toward the Chinese People and their legitimate state authorities,” Parolin wrote in his introduction to the book, The Church in China: A Future Yet to be Written, published this week to coincide with Xi’s visit to Italy.

Italian media have been speculating about a possible meeting, noting that Pope Francis’ schedule does not have many appointments planned for the dates when Xi will be in Italy March 21-23.

However Chinese sources have expressed that a potential meeting between the pope and the Chinese leader is unlikely.

The Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said he was “not aware” of a potential meeting between the pope and the president, but said that China is ready to meet the Vatican halfway through “constructive dialogue” to “accumulate mutual trust.”

A Vatican source told the National Catholic Register that it is unlikely that a meeting will occur, but said that “last-minute decision is possible.”

Full story at Catholic News Agency.

Comments

  1. Better to talk, if only briefly, than not to talk at all.

  2. The Chinese government has gotten what they wanted from this papacy. They have no further use for it.

  3. Anonymous says

    The new Vatican policy on China is scary — and dangerously deceptive and delusional! China daily persecutes all Christians– and seeks fierce government persecution and control of Catholics! Where are they to turn, if the Vatican refuses to support them??

    • Anonymous says

      I bet Catholics in China must feel quite betrayed by the Vatican’s new policy! Very cruel and deceptive!

  4. No need for Xi, paragon of Catholic social doctrine and now paramount chief of the Catholic Church in Communist China, to be coy about meeting with Chairman Francis and the Vaticoms (and vice versa). The complicity is clear; the jig is up.

    Luàn qī bā zāo!

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