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World Pompeo urges Pope Francis to take 'bold' stand for religious freedom in swipe at China

19:15  01 october  2020
19:15  01 october  2020 Source:   washingtonexaminer.com

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Rome – Secretary of State Mike Pompeo urged Pope Francis to take a “bold” stand for religious freedom, in a thinly-veiled exhortation against unseemly agreements with China.

a man wearing a hat © Provided by Washington Examiner

“Countries must sometimes make compromises to advance good ends,” Pompeo said at a symposium hosted by the United States mission to the Holy See. “The Church is in a different position. Earthly considerations shouldn’t discourage principled stances based on eternal truths.”

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Pompeo avoided an explicit denunciation of a 2018 deal pertaining to the nomination of bishops in China that American officials fear gives Beijing “some measure of control” over the church leadership. Still, his speech featured multiple implicit challenges to Francis, often through the invocation of the late Pope John Paul II and his opposition to the Soviet Union and other communist regimes during the Cold War.

“Pope John Paul II bore witness to his flock’s suffering, and challenged tyranny,” Pompeo said. “By doing so, he demonstrated how the Holy See can move our world in a more humane direction.”

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Vatican officials have kept the exact terms of the deal secret, reportedly at China’s behest, but they are expected to renew the pact in the coming weeks, despite disappointment with the practical benefits of the agreement thus far.

“We decided to move forward after a thoughtful reflection, made after many years of developments in that direction,” Cardinal Pietro Parolin, the Vatican secretary of state, told reporters Wednesday. “We know that there is much resistance, opposition, criticism, we know that and we take it into account because it is a very delicate issue.”

In the meantime, they have avoided making explicit rebukes of China in public, including in remarks following Pompeo’s address.

"We don't name and blame; it's one of the principles of Vatican diplomacy, normally,” Archbishop Paul Gallagher, a senior Vatican envoy, told reporters on the sidelines of the symposium.

Pompeo defends religious freedom diplomacy as Vatican allies impugn his motives

  Pompeo defends religious freedom diplomacy as Vatican allies impugn his motives Rome – Secretary of State Mike Pompeo rejected any suggestion that his call for Pope Francis’s support against 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. © Provided by Washington Examiner “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.

Pompeo, who criticized the accord in a variety of Catholic media in advance of his trip to Rome, reminded an assembly of Vatican officials and other religious leaders of the Polish pontiff’s decision to canonize dozens of martyrs “killed in China before the current Communist regime took power.”

He observed likewise that “John Paul II also challenged Latin American authoritarianism and helped inspire democratic transitions” — perhaps in a subtle rebuke of the Vatican’s hesitation to call for Venezuelan strongman Nicolas Maduro to relinquish power in favor of the U.S.-backed interim president Juan Guaido.

“Those who have responsibility for the common good must sometimes deal with wicked men, and indeed, with wicked regimes,” Pompeo said. “But in doing so, statesmen representing democracies must never lose sight of the moral truths and human dignity that make democracy possible. So also should religious leaders understand that being salt and light must often mean exercising a bold moral witness.”

Tags: Mike Pompeo, Vatican, Pope Francis, China, Religion, Catholic Church

Original Author: Joel Gehrke

Original Location: Pompeo urges Pope Francis to take 'bold' stand for religious freedom in swipe at China

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This is interesting!