Pope Francis’s China conundrum—traditional Catholics or Communist Party Catholics

Papst Franziskus China-Rätsel traditionellen Katholiken oder der Kommunistischen Partei Katholiken

Quartz

The incredible popularity and broad outreach efforts of the Roman Catholic Church’s Pope Francis have raised hopes that he will try to mend relations between the church and Beijing during a trip to Asia in August.

Beijing and the Vatican have not held official talks for six decades, despite the fact that together they hold sway over more than one-third of the world’s population. In recent years the relationship between the two has been  downright hostile—in 2010 Beijing nominated several bishops to its state-recognized Catholic church without the Vatican’s approval, resulting in the church’s first ex-communications since the 1950s.

So far, there is no official confirmation that the Pope is considering a stop in China before or after his visit to South Korea, but there are plenty of signs that relations are thawing. Pope Francis said in an interview earlier this year that he had written to Chinese President Xi Jinping…

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