China snubs Pope’s funeral because Chen is going

Oh, grow up already.

China’s government said it won’t send any representatives to tomorrow’s funeral of Pope John Paul II and said Taiwan President Chen Shui-bian’s planned trip to the Vatican is a separatist move.

“Under current circumstances, China won’t send representatives to the Vatican,: Foreign Ministry spokesman Qin Gang said today at a regular press briefing in Beijing.

The Chinese government has expressed its “strong dissatisfaction”to the Vatican and to Italy for issuing Chen’s visa, Qin said.

Qin said the country’s relations with the Vatican won’t improve until the Holy See switches diplomatic recognition to the mainland, urging concrete measures to be taken instead of creating “new obstacles.”

So they want the Vatican to recognize the PRC and not Taiwan. And what will induce the Vatican to make such a decision? What is there that will endear the the Mainland to them? I don’t know, but it certainly won’t be stories like this. (Read the third paragraph and wince. Bastards.)

The Discussion: 11 Comments

I posted this link way down the page on a different pope topic, but here’s the latest from the NY Times on the subject:

April 7, 2005 @ 5:11 pm | Comment

What is there that will endear the the Mainland to them?

Taiwan Population: 22,894,384
China Population: 1,306,313,812


April 7, 2005 @ 7:32 pm | Comment

Well, perhaps if they allowed the Catholics to recognize the Pope as all other other Catholics around the world do it would be a good start. But tearing down their churches isn’t a wise strategy.

April 7, 2005 @ 7:55 pm | Comment

I think the official stance (for the government approved Catholic churches) is that the Pope is recognized as the spiritual leader but not as a political leader, i.e. no power to appoint bishops, control finances, etc.

April 7, 2005 @ 8:16 pm | Comment

This is off topic but I was listening to the Pope’s funeral live all night long while asleep last night. I dreamt that I saw the Pope floating in heaven with the magnificient church music and chanting in beautiful Italian language. I am not a Catholic so I think its the music.

April 8, 2005 @ 3:48 pm | Comment

Silly. The vatican shouldn’t have diplomatic status to begin with. No other religion gets official diplomatic recognition, so why should the Catholics get special treatment?

April 8, 2005 @ 5:21 pm | Comment

Simply due to history; most of the European countries were subservient to the Church andit grew from there I assume.

April 9, 2005 @ 12:12 am | Comment

If the Vatican switched alliances to the mainland, the mainland would declare it to be a victory and it would waive it in Chen’s face. Then it would sit on its AR*SE and do nothing to address Catholic issues in China.

Any thaw between Beijing and the Vatican would only go so far, and unless there is a big change in the Chinese government, not much will happen. Beijing doesn’t want the Catholic Church to be anything but subservient to Beijing.

Beijing fears the Catholic Church in the same way that it fears trade unions and other large associations. The Church has the potential to gather support and its members place the authority of the Vatican higher than that of the government. Any organization, be it religious or secular, is going to have problems in China under these circumstance.

Imagine if Microsoft employees suddenly swore allegiance to the company and placed its board of directors higher than the government, or if the NRA did the same thing.

Then convert them all to Islam.

The Bush administration would feel like Beijing does.

Things will only change in China when Beijing isn’t afraid of people opposing it.


I think that the Vatican has diplomatic status because it is technically a country (sort of like the indian nations). Aren’t there Vatican passports and vatican laws?

April 9, 2005 @ 2:35 am | Comment

Taiwan has relationship with the Vatican but it is not or going to be a Catholic dominated society. On the contrary, the prospect for Catholicism to thrive in the mainland is much more potential. I remember studying history of Catholics in Ming and Qing dynasty, if not for the extreme corruptions and stubborness of the Papacy at the time, China might have been coverted a Catholic country centuries ago. Nevertheless, I believe both China and Taiwan wanting Vatican for political reasons not for spiritual enlightenment.

April 9, 2005 @ 12:11 pm | Comment

It would not surprise me if the Vatican made a switch. The assumption might be that they would be allowed more pull in the PRC then they have now. But they would be very dull indeed to think that that pull would go far.

In essence, the Vatican has nothing to gain by switching ties. Not unless Chinese Catholics are allowed to recognize the pope and the central Church heirarchy. If they were given that right, a switch would happen overnight, I am sure.

Those who assume that China’s large population of potential conversians is reason enough to make a switch forget that the Vatican must first have the ability to openly convert. Without that ability, any change of recognition would bring the Church no real benefit.

April 10, 2005 @ 12:19 am | Comment

The Vatican is a seaprate nation because for a period of centuries the Bishop/Pope wa sthe only government in the citym, and then later functioned as an independent prince. There aere cities in Germnay with a similar history of clerical rule, except that they fianlly were taken over by the civil government. And the countries of Europe may or may not have been subservient to Rome, but their governments normally schemed aginst Rome – there was the centuries long struggle between the Church and the Holy Roman Empire, and then later various kings scehmed to control who became Pope. Then of course there were nationalist movements like Henry’s. He insisted that he choose the bishops that were going to hold sit in his parliament.

Which sounds a lot like the position of the Chinese government. Religious groups in China have a history of being subversive. (Europe too, for that matter) China wants the Anglican solution and thenPope is not cool with that. No surprise.

April 11, 2005 @ 3:48 pm | Comment

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