Pope Receives Blinken, a Twist After Trump But Chinese Knot Remains

Il Papa riceve Blinken, svolta dopo Trump ma resta il nodo cinese

Monday 28 June 2021 – 11:01 am01

Pope Receives Blinken, a Twist After Trump But Chinese Knot Remains

Meeting between Pope and Biden in Glasgow in November or in Rome in October

Vatican City, June 28 (askanews) — Passionate about trying to demonstrate complete continuity between one era and another, even the Vatican, this time only states the time of Mike Pompeo, Donald Trump. could acknowledge the apparent dissatisfaction among the Secretary of State, when the Pope had arrived. In Rome in September 2020, and Antony Blinken, the new United States Secretary of State, officially received by Francis at the Vatican Apostolic Palace this morning.

Both relations between Trump and the Argentine pope were marked by apparently mutual distrust, as Joe Biden’s arrival at the White House has put the mind at ease. However, without breaking the knot with China, the same issue on which Mike Pompeo faltered.


What separates the Holy See from the United States is its long-term look at relations with Beijing. While Washington, with variations ranging from Trump to Biden, regards China as a geopolitical rival, the priority of the Apostolic Palace, of a spiritual nature, is to negotiate with the Country of the Dragon, knowing that Asian Catholicism has a promising future. is. And that China, in particular, has a relatively minority Catholic community, but is significant in absolute terms, as well as great rivalry. It is no coincidence that Francis, along with his Cardinal Secretary of State Pietro Parolin, in 2018 crowned the dream of signing a landmark agreement with Chinese authorities on episcopal appointments, long cherished by his predecessors. And in September last year, nearing the renewal of the agreement for a second two-year period, Mike Pompeo openly attacked the Holy See’s line via Twitter and on the eve of a visit to the Vatican. An article on ultra-conservative magazine. Pope’s allies to suspect that Pompey was more provoking than constructive criticism. However, able to dispel the last doubts from the Chinese counterpart. A few days later, however, the Holy See renewed the agreement with Beijing.

Today, unlike Pompeo, Blinken, a longtime diplomat, was received with full respect by the Pope and, first of all, by Cardinal Parolin and the Vatican “foreign minister”, the English Archbishop Paul Richard Gallagher. It is believed that despite the polite tone on the Chinese dossier, there is a considerable distance. But some special reasons for harmony can also come to the fore.


A few days ago, in fact, the Holy See expressed “concern” about the situation in Hong Kong. The official status of the Apostolic Palace was expressed by Msgr. Gallagher, who answered an important question about the Vatican’s perceived soft stance with China, during a news conference on the July 1 meeting hosted by the Pope on the difficult political situation in Lebanon. “Certainly Hong Kong is a matter of concern to us,” replied the bishop. “Lebanon is a place where we think we can contribute, we don’t understand it in Hong Kong: many apt words can be said that will be appreciated by the international press and many countries, but I, and I like mine Believe that many of my colleagues still need to be convinced that they can make a difference. Here we have an opportunity, whereas in Hong Kong we have a very different situation overall,” Gallagher said. Be open to action”, remarked with a smile, the Vatican spokesman, Matteo Bruni, who moderated the press conference. “We also hope – added Gallagher, taking the word – that the new Archbishop ( The Jesuit Stephen Saw-Yan Chow, appointed by the Pope in May, ed.) will do very well”.

In the name of a new multilateralism so dear to Bergoglio, the White House in the Biden era has already renegotiated many threads with the Vatican that Trump broke. Immigration, the Middle East (from Syria to Lebanon to the Israel-Palestinian conflict), vaccines, climate are all issues on which the months of a new presidency have narrowed distances, or even the signing of new citoni. Huh. Climate change, in particular, has shown complete convergence: Biden’s special envoy, John Kerry, was recently received by the Pope, with the Holy See meeting religious leaders and scientists in early October in the wake of the expected COP26 summit in November. organizes a meeting. in Glasgow and it is not excluded that Jorge Mario Bergoglio will personally attend the Scottish summit.


This would be an opportunity to meet Joe Biden. But diplomatic circles in Rome believe that a meeting could take place earlier in October, if the President of the United States visits Rome, and in all likelihood he will do so at the summit of the G20 heads of state and government. Will do, 30 and 31 October. A visit to the White House tenant is part of an ongoing conflict with the American Episcopal Conference. If the pope did indeed warmly welcome his election, the real problem lies at home for Biden, the country’s second Catholic president after John Fitzgerald Kennedy. Bishops, mostly Orthodox, have recently decided to approve a document on “Eucharistic responsibility” in November. A source that hides the ban on entry to banquets for a politician like Biden does not contradict current legislation on abortion. The Vatican has so far tried to curb the epilogue, without success. The Pope is a priceless ally for Biden. Even if the Chinese knot is not tied. (by Iacoppo Scaramuzzi)


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