Rome (AsiaNews) – The Sino-Vatican Agreement, signed two years ago, is currently at the centre of discussions. It expired last month and its renewal is expected (at least that is what the Holy See is hoping for).
Statements by cardinals, anonymous monsignors, sinologists, left and right politicians . . . fill the media. but none of them are Chinese. Even at a diplomatic level, China through its foreign ministry is rather discreet and vague.
Above all, Chinese Catholics are absent from the debate, often relegated to some statement or commentary in Chinese and therefore difficult to circulate.
To give a voice to the Chinese, AsiaNews has recently asked bishops, priests and lay faithful in China to speak their minds, urging them to say how the life of their communities has changed and how their faith has been lived since the famous Agreement was first inked.
The result has been a dossier, The China-Vatican Agreement two years later, available in the August-September paper issue of the AsiaNews magazine and in the dossier section of the AsiaNews homepage (in four languages).
Let's say right away that the collection of stories shows that, unlike several local sinologists, Chinese Catholics are not enthusiastic about the Agreement, even if they see some benefits, especially in curbing the flight of illegal bishops.
As Pope Francis has always said, to build it is necessary to start from the edges. These stories from the edges of freedom are a fundamental tool for not standing on ideology, but planting instead one’s feet firmly in reality. (B.C.)