(Reuters) The Vatican asked China’s communist government on Friday to stop intimidating Catholic clergy who want to remain unequivocally loyal to the pope and refuse to sign ambiguous official registration forms.
The request, contained in Vatican guidelines to clergy in mainland China, was the latest hiccup in relations between the Holy See and Beijing since the two sides signed a historic and disputed pact on the naming of bishops last September.
Under Chinese law, priests and bishops must register with the state. They also must sign a form accepting the principle of independence, autonomy and self-administration of the Church in China.
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