The Vatican recently reached a historic agreement with China when it allowed the Chinese government to appoint Catholic bishops in exchange for Beijing acknowledging the Pope as the leader of the Catholic church. On October 11, Hudson Institute hosted a discussion to consider papal and Chinese motives for the deal, its diplomatic consequences, and the history of the Vatican’s relations with authoritarian communist nations. While additional details remain unclear, the agreement represents the first major change in relations between the Vatican and China since 1951 when the two states ended diplomatic relations.
Panelists included Nina Shea, a Hudson Institute senior fellow and director of the Center for Religious Freedom; Daniel Mark, former chairman of the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom; and Ted Lipien, president and executive director at FreeMediaOnline.org. The discussion was moderated by Seth Cropsey, a Hudson senior fellow and director of the Center for American Seapower.