Chinese ‘Catholic Church’ Asserts Break with Rome

China church catholics
The Chinese Communist party has proclaimed the independence of the nationalized Catholic church from Rome, insisting that the church adhere to a program of “self-governance.” In a statement released after this week’s National Congress of Chinese Catholic Representatives in Beijing, participants reasserted the autonomy of the Chinese Catholic Church from Rome. “Sticking to the principle of independence and self-governance as well as a system of national congresses embodies the self-esteem and confidence of the Catholic Church in China. They are the foundation of the church’s existence,” the statement read. Under the guise of local church “autonomy,” Beijing has sought greater control over the Catholic Church in China, insisting that bishops be named by the local Chinese Catholic community under the auspices of the Communist party. It has also refused to acknowledge the authority of the Pope in ecclesiastical decisions, claiming that as head of a foreign state, the Pope has no right to interfere in local matters. The Catholic Church in China has been split into underground and open communities since 1958, with the latter going by the title of the Patriotic Catholic Association under immediate control of the Communist party. A Vatican document of 1988 barred Roman Catholics from participating in