Two Chinese Catholic bishops are to take part for the first time from Wednesday in a synod, or advisory body meeting, with peers at the Vatican, the Holy See said.

“The Holy Father had invited Chinese bishops in the past but they were never able to come,” said Cardinal Lorenzo Baldisseri, who is to preside the synod of bishops on “Young People, the Faith, and Vocational Discernment” from October 3-28.

Lorenzo Baldisseri
Lorenzo Baldisseri. Photo: Wikimedia Commons.

The Vatican and China reached a provisional agreement on September 22 under which Pope Francis recognised seven clergy initially ordained by Beijing without the Vatican’s approval.

The accord could pave the way for the normalisation of ties between the Catholic Church and the world’s most populous country.

St. Peter's Square St. Peter's Basilica Vatican Obelisk
The St. Peter’s Square before the St. Peter’s Basilica and the Vatican Obelisk. Photo: Wikimedia Commons/Jean-Pol GRANDMONT/cc-by-sa 3.0.

One of those recognised, Bishop Joseph Guo Jincai, is to attend the synod, along with Bishop John Baptist Yang Xiaotin, another member of the Patriotic Catholic Association (PCA), a body created by the Chinese government to administer the church.

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