Pompeo to criticise Vatican's renewal of China deal during visit
Mike Pompeo will visit the Vatican to protest against the imminent renewal of a deal between the Catholic church and China, which the US secretary of state claims endangers its moral authority. Pope Francis has reportedly declined to meet Pompeo during his visit this week, citing the closeness of the US election. However, such a move is likely to be linked to Pompeo’s recent attacks on the Vatican’s perceived soft-pedalling on China’s human rights record as the two sides prepare to extend a historic agreement signed two years ago.
The details of the deal have never been made public, but it gave the Vatican a say in the appointment of Catholic bishops in China. Pope Francis also recognised eight bishops that had been appointed by Beijing without his approval.