With the newly elected pope, the Roman Catholic Church and the Chinese government continues to negotiate, attempting to re-establish diplomatic relations after a series of unofficial meetings since early last year.
According to the International Herald Tribune, China is a priority for Pope Benedict XVI who is planning a pilgrimage to Beijing. The Pope continues the talks with China and its church, which began when John Paul II in late 2004 after relations were severed in 1951.
During the meetings, China permitted the Vatican to nominate bishops for the official Chinese church, where China’s 4 million Catholics must worship at registered church chapels under priests who pledge faithfulness to the state, instead of the pope.
According to the Tribune, the Vatican is considering of severing ties with Taiwan in pursuit of its ties with China.