US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo arrived Thursday on the Vatican to fulfill with high Holy See officers, a day after tensions over American opposition to the Vatican’s China coverage spilled out in public.
Pompeo was assembly with the Vatican secretary of state, Cardinal Pietro Parolin, and the overseas minister, Archbishop Paul Gallagher. The Vatican declined his request to see Pope Francis, citing Holy See coverage to not grant papal audiences throughout election campaigns, Parolin mentioned.
Pompeo was in Rome to take part in a convention on non secular freedom organized by the US Embassy to the Holy See, and to fulfill with Italian and Vatican officers.
During the Wednesday convention, Pompeo urged the Vatican to hitch the US in denouncing violations of spiritual freedom in China, a part of the US marketing campaign to criticize Beijing’s crackdown on non secular and ethnic minorities that has elevated amid the coronavirus pandemic and earlier than the Nov. 3 election.
The convention was organized on the identical time the Vatican is getting into into delicate negotiations with Beijing on extending their controversial 2018 settlement on nominating bishops for China.
The Vatican is searching for to increase the accord, which envisages a means of dialogue in choosing bishops. It signed it in 2018 in hopes it could assist unite China’s Catholics, who for seven many years have been cut up between these belonging to an official, state-sanctioned church and an underground church loyal to Rome.
Pompeo has strongly criticized the accord, penning an essay earlier this month suggesting that the Vatican had compromised its ethical authority by signing it. His article tremendously irritated the Vatican, which noticed it as interference within the church’s inside affairs for the sake of scoring home political factors.
The Vatican secretary of state, Parolin, mentioned the Holy See was “surprised” by Pompeo’s article. Speaking to reporters on the sidelines of the convention, Parolin mentioned the personal conferences Pompeo had scheduled on the Vatican would have been the extra acceptable setting to precise his considerations, Italian news company ANSA reported.
Pompeo began his day Thursday visiting the Rome-based Sant’Egidio Community, a Catholic charity energetic in caring for refugees in Italy and offering HIV-AIDS care in Africa. Arriving at Sant’Egidio’s headquarters, Pompeo praised the group’s efforts as “the Lord’s work.”