Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Chinese to invite Pope for a visit

Catholic World News is reporting that Pope Benedict has been invited to take a trip to China. (Article)

The Adnkronos agency, citing sources at the Vatican, reports that the Pope has received an invitation from the organizers an art exhibition scheduled to take place in Beijing.

The Vatican has not offered any official comment on the report.

The prospects for a papal trip to China in the near future appear remote. Before considering a visit by the Pope, the Vatican would undoubtedly want to secure the fundamental rights of the Church in China.

During the past year, the Holy See and the Beijing regime have clashed repeatedly over the efforts of the government-backed Catholic Patriotic Association to assert control over the Catholic Church in China. In light of those disputes it seems highly unlikely that the government would approve an invitation to the Pope, or that the Pope would accept such an invitation.
When I first saw this article, I was very much in disbelief. The Pope going to China? After all that has recently happened? This must be some art exhibit, if it warrants a pastoral visit from the German Shepherd himself. China has lots of problems regarding religion and religious rights (not to mention human rights), and so therefore there's no way our Pope would be going there any time soon. That's not even bringing up the security issues. How could we be assured that the Chinese government wouldn't take him prisoner or something?


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