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Archbishop Paul Gallagher (Vatican News)

The Vatican’s foreign minister has said that the Vatican-China deal was “not the best deal possible” and that negotiations are underway to make the deal “work better”. Source: CNA.

In an interview with Colm Flynn for EWTN News, Archbishop Paul Richard Gallagher, the Vatican secretary for Relations with States, said that Holy See diplomats are “negotiating improvements” to the Holy See’s provisional agreement with Beijing on the appointment of bishops, first signed in 2018.

“Obviously, the objective is to get the best deal possible, which certainly this agreement is not the best deal possible because of the other party: They were only prepared to go so far and to agree to certain things. But that was what was possible at the time,” Archbishop Gallagher said.

“It wasn’t really a great time to sign the deal, for various reasons. It was always going to be difficult; it was always going to be used by the Chinese party to bring greater pressure on the Catholic community, particularly on the so-called underground Church. So we just go forward.”

Archbishop Gallagher, who was not directly involved in the negotiations, underlined that the agreement with China, which the Vatican has renewed twice in the past five years, was the fruit of a long process under three pontificates.

The Holy See diplomat said he believes that the Vatican and Chinese authorities have grown in “a greater understanding, a greater respect” for each other over the years.

“Everything is done obviously in the context of Chinese domestic politics … And therefore, we can only achieve so much,” he added.

Xi Jinping assumed an unprecedented third term as president last week at a rubber-stamp parliamentary session of the National People’s Congress that unanimously voted for Mr Xi in an election in which there was no other candidate.


Vatican-China deal ‘not the best deal possible,’ top Holy See diplomat says (By Courtney Mares, CNA)