DAILY CATHOLIC     FRI-SAT-SUN     March 19-21, 1999     vol. 10, no. 55

NEWS & VIEWS
from a CATHOLIC perspective

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CHINESE LEADER ADAMANT ON VATICAN DIPLOMATIC RELATIONS

          ROME (CWNews.com) - The leader of Communist China told an Italian newspaper on Thursday that conditions for diplomatic relations with the Holy See remain unchanged.

          As Chinese President Jiang Zemin prepared to arrive in Italy on Saturday, he told the Milan newspaper Corriere della Serra that the Vatican must agree to two conditions in order to secure relations. "We are willing to improve relations with the Vatican. But on two conditions. The first: their breaking of relations with Taiwan and recognizing China as the only legitimate government," he said. "The second: China's internal affairs cannot be interfered with, using religion as a pretext."

          Recent reports have said the Holy See and China were prepared to initiate formal diplomatic ties with the Communists recognizing papal authority over Catholics in China as the result of secret talks. The report said the Holy See was already prepared to sever relations with Taiwan. China's government mandates that all Catholics belong to the state-sanctioned Catholic Patriotic Association, which eschews any connections to the Vatican. The association has an estimated 3 million members while there are an estimated 8-10 million underground Catholics.

          Jiang is expected to meet with Vatican officials during his visit to Rome. He will also travel to Switzerland and Austria before returning to Beijing.


Articles provided through Catholic World News and Church News at Noticias Eclesiales. Both CWN and NE are not affiliated with the Daily CATHOLIC but provides this service via e-mail to the Daily CATHOLIC Monday through Friday.

March 19-21, 1999       volume 10, no. 55
NEWS & VIEWS

DAILY CATHOLIC

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