Top Vatican official visits China

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Beijing, Aug 4 (IANS) A top Vatican official arrived in China on Friday in a gesture of rapprochement between Beijing and the Holy See, despite the absence of bilateral ties.

According to the Global Times daily, Sorondo participated in a conference on organ transplant and donation in Beijing, where he stressed on the love that the Supreme Pontiff has for China.

“Pope Francis loves China and loves the people of China, its history and population. We hope China can have a great future,” said Sorondo, who has been heading both the Pontifical Academy of Sciences and the Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences since 1988.

The visit to China from the top Vatican official appears to reciprocate the visit made by a Chinese Health Ministry official to the Vatican in February in another rare diplomatic rapprochement between the two countries whose ties were cut in 1951.

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Huang Jiefu, the Director of China’s Organ Donation and Transplantation Committee, attended conferences on the subject in Rome, reports Efe news.

Pope Francis has expressed his desire to resume bilateral relations with China where the Catholic community is divided between those faithful to the Vatican and the members of the “patriotic church”, controlled by the Chinese government.

China and the Vatican remain in conflict over issues such as the appointment of bishops as Beijing does not accept Rome appointing ecclesiastical positions on Chinese territory.



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