Cardinal Sodano Says Ties With China Can Be Normalized

Reiterates That Vatican Would Shift Its Representation to Beijing

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ROME, OCT. 26, 2005 ( Cardinal Angelo Sodano believes that relations between the Holy See and China can be normalized and says that the Vatican’s representation in Taipei could be moved to Beijing immediately.

The Vatican secretary of state made his statements Tuesday in an aside at the opening of the Matteo Ricci Conference Center at the Gregorian University. He paused to speak with journalists on the Holy See’s relations with China, reported Vatican Radio.

«I have said many times, that if we can have contacts with Beijing, the person in charge of the Holy See’s affairs, who is in Taipei, would not go tomorrow but this very night to Beijing,» the cardinal said.

A condition set by the government of the People’s Republic of China to establish diplomatic relations with the Holy See is that Rome sever its relations with Taiwan.

«However, the Holy See cannot be treated worse than other states,» Cardinal Sodano said. «When other states ended with Taiwan, they went immediately to Beijing. If the Holy See ends its contacts with Taiwan, why can’t it go to Beijing where its original headquarters were?

«We go to Chinese Catholics as our brothers and sisters, as we do to all people of good will. We continue to build bridges, as the Church seeks only to proclaim the Christian principles of the Gospel of Christ, in respect of all peoples and all cultures.»

History moves on

The Vatican secretary of state expressed the displeasure of the participants at the recent Synod of Bishops on the Eucharist, who were not able to see the four Chinese prelates invited by Benedict XVI. The four were blocked from traveling to Rome.

«Let’s hope that soon, as they have written to the Pope, they will be able to make the trip to Rome and give us a fraternal embrace,» Cardinal Sodano said. «History moves on and I think that soon these difficulties will be surmounted.»

He added: «The Holy See has always said that it is ready for dialogue, ready to establish contacts, in the right of religious freedom of every human being.»

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