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Tuesday, 25 September 2018

A Garden Grows In The Forbidden City

In 1951, China became a communist country, after the defeat of the nationalist Koumintang government headed by Generalissimo Chiang Kai-shek, who eventually fled to the tiny island of Taiwan to establish a democratic form of government and named the country the  Republic of China. In the same period of time, the Vatican and communist China, a country renamed Peoples Republic of China, mutually severed diplomatic ties.

Currently, Roman Catholicism is practiced openly in Taiwan, in comparison to the faith under strict government supervision in China; it is heavily controlled and practice is frowned upon in the communist country. China has made it its responsibility to assign bishops to its Catholic masses, a function  reservedly under the Holy See. This arrangement that has been the source of dispute and a thorn in the relationship for decades between the Vatican and China, now appears to change.

The Vatican on Saturday announced it had signed a "provisional agreement" with China on the appointment of bishops, a breakthrough on an issue that for decades fueled tensions between the Holy See and Beijing and thwarted efforts toward diplomatic relations.

Vatican spokesman Greg Burke, speaking in Vilnius, Lithuania, told reporters the aim of the accord "is not political but pastoral, allowing the faithful to have bishops who are in communion with Rome but at the same time recognized by Chinese authorities."

He did not immediately provide details about the deal, announced at the Vatican and in Beijing shortly after Pope Francis began a four-day pilgrimage to the Baltics.

The Vatican described the provisional agreement as "the fruit of a gradual and reciprocal rapprochement" following a "long process of careful negotiation," and said it allows for periodic review. "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."
Wherever the sower sows, some good thing is bound to happen. It may take a while and results may vary, from that which negates the activity to one that is productive, vibrant and fruitful.

Luke Chapter 8:5-8

5 'A sower went out to sow his seed. Now as he sowed, some fell on the edge of the path and was trampled on; and the birds of the air ate it up.

6 Some seed fell on rock, and when it came up it withered away, having no moisture.

7 Some seed fell in the middle of thorns and the thorns grew with it and choked it.
8 And some seed fell into good soil and grew and produced its crop a hundredfold.' Saying this he cried, 'Anyone who has ears for listening should listen!'

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