Comments 93 Read by 24, people In a SHTF event, underground is exactly where many people plan to go to ride out the storm of whatever has descended upon society. With brewing unrest and economic collapse, the elite have poured millions of dollars into luxury underground communities — many fitted to be more like five-star hotels than emergency bunkers. Even the Davos elite have expressed worry.
The deal has been signed, according to the Vatican: During that meeting, the two representatives signed a Provisional Agreement on the appointment of Bishops.
The above-mentioned Provisional Agreement, which is the fruit of a gradual and reciprocal rapprochement, has been agreed following a long process of careful negotiation and foresees the possibility of periodic reviews of its application.
It concerns the nomination of Bishops, a question of great importance for the life of the Church, and creates the conditions for greater collaboration at the bilateral level.
The deal, in short, gives the Beijing government the right to approve the appointment of bishops. Cardinal Pietro Parolin, the Vatican Secretary of State, released a videotaped statement about the deal.
The objective of the Holy See is a pastoral one: And today, for the first time all the Bishops in China are in communion with the Bishop of Rome, with the Successor of Peter. What is required now is unity, is trust and a new impetus; to have good Pastors, recognized by the Successor of Peter — by the Pope — and by the legitimate civil Authorities.
And we believe — we hope, we hope — that the Agreement will be an instrument for these objectives, for these aims, with the cooperation of all. This is a very big deal, the fruit of four decades of negotiations across three papacies.
Not everyone is happy with it: The potential deal has divided communities of Catholics across China, some of whom fear greater suppression should the Vatican cede greater control to Beijing, but others want to see rapprochement.
Zen said he believed only half the underground church in China would accept a deal and was concerned how the remainder might react. I had a conversation about this deal last week in Rome, when it was still pending, with someone knowledgeable about the process.
Non-Catholics should be aware that in Catholic and Orthodox theology, the validity of the sacraments does not depend on the moral qualities of the priest or bishop administering them.
This was an issue settled by the Church in the fifth century, with the Donatist controversy.
This is why in the Soviet Union, even though most or even all of the Orthodox bishops were KGB agents, the sacraments remained valid, and the life of the Church continued, though obviously in captivity. This is more or less what Rome hopes to accomplish with its new agreement with the communists.
The Church has often conceded to the state power over the choice of bishops.
It is a tragedy, though, because the Catholic Church has fought hard over the centuries for the right to administer its own affairs.
This is a setback, for sure. This is not an unreasonable stance to take.
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