Prison sentences handed down this week for three young pro-democracy activists, in tandem with the arrest of media tycoon Jimmy Lai, has been largely read as the latest chapter in China tightening its grip on Hong Kong and eviscerating the principle of “one nation, two systems” under which the territory was transferred to Chinese control in 1997.
The Vatican and the Chinese government will extend an agreement signed in 2018 regarding the appointment of bishops. As the initial agreement expired Oct. 22, the two sides “have agreed to extend the experimental implementation phase of the provisional agreement for another two years,” the Vatican said in a communique the same day.
Chinese Catholics say undisclosed details about negotiations between the Vatican and the Chinese government add to confusion about Church leadership in their native country. The confusion also drives a wedge between Catholics willing to cooperate with government regulators and others who want only to recognize the Vatican’s leadership, local Chinese clergy say.
Top officials from both China and the Vatican have given indications that the controversial agreement between the two on the appointment of bishops, which expires at the end of September, will be renewed.
As the Vatican sits poised to renew its historic agreement with China on the appointment of bishops later this month, one of the Catholic Church’s leading experts on Chinese affairs has argued that while the desire for dialogue is understandable, there is still nothing to show for the deal two years later.
China, in a sense, has become the third rail of geopolitics, in the sense that anything it touches automatically becomes controversial, from cell phones (“are they spying?”) to the coronavirus (“are they lying?”)
Emptied restaurants and storefronts. People wearing N-95 protective masks, covering their faces, hurriedly walking through the barren streets. These are common sights nowadays in New York’s multiple Chinatowns throughout Manhattan, Brooklyn, and Queens.
Chinese Cardinal Joseph Zen visited the Diocese of Brooklyn last weekend to meet with Chinese Catholics of Brooklyn and Queens. His visit also coincided with the continuing coronavirus epidemic in China and was part of his broader worldwide tour to advocate for religious freedom in the country.
Chinese Catholics from St. Agatha Church, Sunset Park, rang in the Lunar New Year with a Mass on Jan. 26.
St. Michael’s is the only Catholic elementary school in the state that has a dual English-Mandarin program, which was first developed by Boston College and has been used at St. Michael’s for the past seven years.