Vatican, 14 March, 2023 / 1:59 pm (ACI Africa).
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.”
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,” 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.”
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.