World Pompeo defends religious freedom diplomacy as Vatican allies impugn his motives
Under a renewed Sino-China agreement, the Chinese Catholic Church will wither
The Vatican is aiming to renew its secret provisional agreement with China, as President Xi Jinping’s regime becomes more totalitarian and ruthless. © Provided by Washington Examiner Since the Sino-Vatican deal was originally signed on September 22, 2018, China has carried out genocidal atrocities against Uighur Muslims, breached its treaty with the United Kingdom on Hong Kong’s sovereignty, and deceived the world about the coronavirus.
Rome – Secretary of State Mike Pompeo rejected any suggestion that his call for Pope Francis’sagainst Chinese human rights abuses has a partisan motive, in the face of clerical suggestions that he is trying to stoke support for President Trump’s reelection.
“That’s just crazy,” Pompeo said at press briefing hosted by Italian Foreign Minister Luigi Di Maio, when asked how his work on religious freedom might affect the American election. “We’ve been working on improving the lives of the people of China the entire time this administration has been in office. We’ve been working on human rights issues in China the entire time I’ve been part of this administration.”
Pompeo accused of stumping for Trump ahead of election
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is positioning himself as a key surrogate for President Trump weeks before the election, an almost unheard-of role for the U.S.’s top diplomat but one the former Republican congressman has embraced as part of his own future political ambitions. © GETTY IMAGES Pompeo accused of stumping for Trump ahead of election Pompeo was in Wisconsin on Wednesday to address Republican lawmakers in the state legislature in a trip that was ostensibly about foreign policy. But his visit has drawn criticism for promoting the president's agenda in a key swing state just 40 days before the election.
Pompeo, who attended a symposium on religious freedom hosted by the United States mission to the Holy See earlier Wednesday, has been lobbying the Vatican publicly to scrap an agreement with Beijing thatto the nomination of bishops. Vatican officials have made little effort to hide the pope’s dislike of such high-profile advice, which the pontiff’s allies implied is an effort to use the State Department as a tool of the president’s campaign.
"They're looking for Donald Trump to get elected, and everything is based on that logic,” Honduran Cardinal Oscar Maradiaga, who is close with the pope,Italian media this week. “In this sense, I don't think they're acting in the interests of Americans.”
Pompeo rejected such allegations on Wednesday. “Our policy has been all along to bring every actor who can benefit the people of China to take away the horrors of the authoritarian regime that the Chinese Communist Party is inflicting on people,” he said. “That was our mission set, and it will remain our mission set. It’s been since long before the election. It will remain so after the election.”
Pompeo urges Greece and Turkey to press on with talks
Pompeo urges Greece and Turkey to press on with talksGreece and Turkey, at loggerheads on a range of issues, have agreed to resume exploratory talks over contested maritime claims in the eastern Mediterranean following weeks of tensions but have not announced a date for the talks.
Vatican diplomats signaled their distaste for Pompeo’s op-ed on their negotiations with China, as one senior papal envoy said that it waswhile Pompeo’s counterpart at the Vatican expressed “surprise” that he would take the disagreement public when “a visit to Rome was already in the works." Envoys were doubly surprised that he did so in First Things magazine, a U.S.-based conservative Catholic publication that they regard as an unfriendly outlet.
“The venue is also meaningful, where one publishes things,” Cardinal Pietro Parolin, the Vatican secretary of state, told reporters Wednesday. “We know that the interpretation doesn't only come from the text, but also from the context. Already the venue already says something about the intention of those who wrote this article.”
Pompeo defended the op-ed as an appeal to the Vatican’s better angels. “I wrote that piece to honor the moral authority of the Catholic Church and its capacity to influence, and make things better for people all across the world,” he told reporters. “They have historically stood with oppressed peoples all across the world.”
Pompeo angers Vatican with call to condemn China over human rights abuses
Pompeo made the appeal at a conference on religious freedom organized by the U.S. Embassy to the Holy See, with top Vatican officials in the audience.Pompeo used a speech at a religious freedom seminar sponsored by the U.S. Embassy to the Holy See to attack Beijing as an egregious abuser of human rights. He called on the Vatican to join the Trump administration in making a similar condemnation.
The column is “consistent with long-standing administration policy with respect to what is taking place in Xinjiang,” Pompeo emphasized, referring to the region where Chinese officials have established mass detention camps for the repression of Uighur Muslims.
“We want every institution to use its authority . . . [to oppose] the greatest human rights violation ongoing in the world,” he said. “I happen to think that churches, and the Catholic Church included, have enormous capacity.”
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Vatican officials defend accord with China after Pompeo criticism .
Vatican officials defend accord with China after Pompeo criticismVATICAN CITY (Reuters) - Vatican officials have defended their intention to renew an accord with Beijing that gives the pope say over the appointment of Chinese bishops, following a highly unusual public call from U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to abandon it.