A papal commission on relations with Beijing is to meet next week to review the position of the Church in China, the Vatican said on Saturday.
The commission, led by Vatican number two Tarcisio Bertone and including bishops from Taiwan, Macau and Hong Kong, was formed following a pastoral letter from Pope Benedict XVI to Chinese Catholics in May 2007.
It will meet from today until Wednesday.
At a previous meeting last March, the commission reasserted the Vatican’s wish for “constructive dialogue” with China, which has no relations with the Holy See and has set up its own official “patriotic” Church.
The pope’s strongly worded letter to the 8 million to 12 million Chinese Catholics loyal to Rome said the communist regime should respect their “authentic religious freedom” and warned that the official Church was “incompatible with Catholic doctrine.”
The letter also expressed the hope for “a respectful and open dialogue” between the Vatican and Beijing.
China immediately rebuffed the appeal and urged the Vatican to refrain from creating new barriers to improved relations.
Beijing severed ties with the Vatican in 1951 in anger at the Holy See’s diplomatic recognition of Taiwan.
In 1957, the split became permanent when China set up the Patriotic Association to formally oversee the country’s officially registered Catholics.
The association counts about 5 million members, while the Vatican estimates that as many as 8 million believers practice their faith in secret and are subject to persecution.
Some are concerned that the Vatican could abandon ties with Taiwan in favor of Beijing if China guaranteed religious freedom and allowed the pope to name Chinese bishops.
Beijing has imposed two conditions on the restoration of ties — the Vatican’s recognition of the “one China” policy that precludes independence for Taiwan and its acceptance that religious affairs are an internal Chinese matter.
THE ANSWER? The drug uses neutralizing antibodies produced by the human immune system, which the team isolated from the blood of 60 recovered patients A Chinese laboratory has been developing a drug it believes has the power to bring the COVID-19 pandemic to a halt. A drug being tested by scientists at Peking University could not only shorten the recovery time for those infected, but even offer short-term immunity from the coronavirus, researchers said. Sunney Xie (謝曉亮), director of the university’s Beijing Advanced Innovation Center for Genomics, said that the drug had been successful in animal testing. “When we injected neutralizing antibodies into infected mice, after five days the viral load was reduced by a factor of 2,500,” Xie said. “That means this potential drug has [a]
It was a much-anticipated milestone likely hastened by COVID-19: New Zealand has reached a population of 5 million people, after citizens and residents rushed home when borders began to close due to the pandemic. New Zealand grew from 4 million to 5 million in 17 years, the quickest rate of growth in the nation’s modern history, Statistics New Zealand said. Migration has been the chief driver for the population of the island-nation, which increased by half a million people in the past six years alone. “The global COVID-19 pandemic has caused unusual international travel and migration patterns in recent months,” Statistics New
‘SERIOUS QUESTIONS’: Three US senators sent a letter to the US commerce secretary asking whether the project ‘takes into consideration national security requirements’ US Senator Chuck Schumer and two other Democratic colleagues have written to top US administration officials asking for details of Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co Ltd’s (TSMC) plan to build a US$12 billion fab in Arizona. Hsinchu-based TSMC on Thursday last week announced that it would build a plant to make 5 nanometer chips by 2024 that would have the capacity to produce 20,000 semiconductor wafers per month. The world’s biggest contract chipmaker already has one chipmaking fab in Camas, Washington, and design centers in Austin, Texas, and San Jose, California. It said it planned to start construction in Arizona next year and
MOM’S LONG CAMPAIGN: Mao Yin had been brought up in Mianyang, Sichuan Province, without any idea that he was the target of a decades-long, high-profile search A Chinese man who was stolen from his family as a toddler has been reunited with his parents after 32 years. Mao Yin (毛寅), then two-and-a-half years old, was snatched in 1988 when he was walking home from nursery with his father. His parents finally embraced him again on Monday in Xian, where he was born. After Mao vanished, his mother Li Jingzhi (李靜芝) quit her job and launched a decades-long search for her son, that included sending out more than 100,000 flyers and appearing on numerous TV shows. That long campaign helped 29 other families find their own missing children and made