Archbishop to China: Acknowledge Papal Authority

Archbishop Giovanni Lajolo said China holds the key to establishing diplomatic relations with China: allowing the Pope to appoint bishops, reported the The Daily Yomiuri.

On his first visit to Japan, the archbishop also said that even though the bishops appointed by the Vatican are not allowed to exercise authority in China, more than 85% of those appointed by the Chinese Patriotic Catholic Association, which is under the control of the Chinese government, later asked to be recognized by the pope.

“The Pope wishes to have his representatives there in order to take care of their pastoral needs,” he said. “The real obstacle comes from the Chinese government, which is not yet willing to stop its interference in the appointments of Catholic bishops. The Holy See and China can easily reach an understanding once this preliminary question is resolved.”  

Holy See and Israel Resume Tax Dispute Talks

United Press International reported in late May that representatives from Israel and the Vatican have resumed talks over disputed Church properties and taxes in the Holy Land after a five-year silence.

Israel wants to redefine the Church’s status, having it pay taxes on churches, shrines, monasteries and cemeteries. The Vatican claims its tax-exempt status was defined centuries before Israel became a country in 1948.

The sides, according to a joint statement, said there was an atmosphere of “great cordiality, mutual understanding and good will,” although Vatican negotiator Father David-Maria Jaeger, an Israeli-born Franciscan friar, said “there is a lot, lot more work to be done.”

Holy See Shares U.N. Concern for Africa

Archbishop Silvano Tomasi, the Holy See’s permanent observer to the United Nations said the Vatican stands alongside the international body in its concern for Africa and the well-being of its women, AllAfrica reported.

Archbishop Tomasi addressed the World Health Assembly in Geneva in late May, and he expressed his appreciation that Margaret Chan, new general director general of the assembly, who listed women and Africa among her priorities.

“The Catholic Church has traditionally been [on] the [front] line in the promotion of the authentic health of women,” he said, “by helping them to harmonize their physical, psychological and social well-being with moral and spiritual values. In this line, the Catholic Church is also convinced of the God-given, equal and complementary dignity of women and men.”