The Vatican said on Thursday that it had extended an agreement with Beijing over the appointment of bishops in China, weeks after Secretary of State Mike Pompeo traveled to the Vatican on an unsuccessful mission to kill it.
The announcement renewed for another two years a historic agreement struck in 2018 that ended a decades-old power struggle over the right to appoint bishops in China, despite concerns over religious liberty and human rights in the country.
The deal calls for China to formally recognize the pope’s authority within the Roman Catholic Church and his final say over the country’s bishops. The Vatican in turn recognized the legitimacy of bishops previously appointed by the Chinese government and excommunicated by the church.
Beyond that, the details of the agreement have been kept largely confidential, to the dismay of some critics of Pope Francis.