Pope establishes new Chinese diocese (Vatican Press Office) Chengde (map) is a city of 450,000 in northeastern China. Within the boundaries of the new Diocese of Chengde, there are 3.7 million people, 25,000 of whom are Catholic. The new diocese has 12 parishes, seven priests, and 12 women religious.
German magazine dossier raps Pope's handling of abuse complaints (Catholic Herald) The German magazine Der Spiegel has published an extensive, 19-page dossier on the handling of abuse complaints by Pope Francis, reaching back to his years as Archbishop of Buenos Aires. The report charges: “During Bergoglio’s time as cardinal, many of the abuse victims in Buenos Aires had turned to him for help; nobody was permitted access to him.”
Vatican-China pact includes good and bad: analysis (AsiaNews) An AsiaNews editorial details the positive and negative aspects of the Vatican’s pact with China, based on the few available details. The government-approved Church will now recognize that Catholic bishops must be in union with the Holy See, but it is not clear what authority the Pope will retain in naming new bishops. The faithful are concerned that bishops who were illicitly ordained—and may have wives and children—may not be required to repent. And the accord makes no mention of government repression and persecution of Catholics.
Vatican official: opponents of China pact are trouble-makers (Global Times) Bishop Marcelo Sanchez Sorondo, the chancellor of the Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences, has dismissed critics of a Vatican-China agreement as “a little minority group of people, people who wanted to create trouble.” In an exclusive interview with the Chinese government-controlled Global Times, he said that China “observes the common good and it has proved its ability to great missions like fighting against poverty and pollution.” Earlier this year Bishop Sorondo said: “Right now, those who are best implementing the social doctrine of the Church are the Chinese.” He was in China this week for a conference on organ donation—a field in which he has praised Chinese leadership.
Nigerian priest dies after escape from kidnappers (Fides) A Nigerian priest who had escaped from kidnappers last week has died. Father Louis Odudu died at a hospital in Warri, in the country’s south, four days after his escape. The Fides news service reports: “The immediate cause of his death could not be ascertained, it was gathered that the incident was not unconnected with his abduction.”
Cardinal Parolin defends deal with China (Reuters) Cardinal Pietro Parolin has defended the Vatican against charges that a deal with China, allowing the Beijing regime to appoint bishops, is a “betrayal.” Without naming Cardinal Joseph Zen, who had made that charge, Cardinal Parolin said: “There is no need to be drastic in condemning and rejecting.”
Cardinal Parolin said that the pact would be signed “in the not-too-distant future,” and Vatican sources told Reuters the signing could come next week. The terms of the agreement will not be made public.