In small gestures, China and the Vatican have shown some overture to each other. Pope Francis and Xi Jinping have exchanged messages and Beijing authorized the plane carrying the pope to and from Korea to fly in its airspace.
On his flight back from Korea, the pontiff used the occasion to say that the Church only "seeks freedom for her mission, for her work; no other condition."
He went on to say, "We must not forget that fundamental document for the Chinese problem which was the Letter to the Chinese written by Pope Benedict XVI. That Letter is still timely today. And if Benedict XVI’s letter is still timely, the CPCA is incompatible with Catholic doctrine.
By the same token, the CPCA is also incompatible with the anti-corruption campaign launched by the Chinese president. By controlling the Church’s assets and institutions, its top officials, especially its honorary president and undisputed leader for decades, Anthony Liu Bainian, have without problems taken land, buildings and money from the dioceses.
It is estimated that local leaders have earned some 130 billion yuan (about US$16 billion) in business dealings involving Church assets under Communist control.
It is likely that CCPA insiders are behind the article in the Global Times in order to deflect the anti-corruption campaign by defending the agency’s "historic legacy."
If Xi Jinping really wants a China without corruption, he might consider getting rid of such a cumbersome legacy, which undermines all the ideals that he has been preaching.
Reprinted courtesy of AsiaNews.