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Cardinal Joseph Zen in St Peter's Square (AP)

Cardinal Zen said the Vatican’s plan would be a ‘surrender’

Cardinal John Tong (AP)

Cardinal John Tong said the Church ‘cannot and should not’ intervene in political struggles in China

A well-wisher kisses the ring of Auxiliary Bishop Thaddeus Ma Daqin following his episcopal ordination at St Ignatius Cathedral in Shanghai  (CNS photo/courtesy of UCAnews)

Bishop Thaddeus, under house arrest for four years, says he was wrong to criticise the Catholic Patriotic Association

Cardinal Pietro Parolin, seems to want closer relations with China (CNS photo/Paul Haring)

If the Vatican is to initiate closer relations with mainland China, in what way would this benefit country’s Catholic Church?

Worshippers at a Catholic church in Taiyuan, China (CNS)

Bishop Zhang Huaixin, who spent years in labour camps, was admired as a role model for Chinese Catholics

Choristors sing at a Mass in Shenyang, China (Photo: CNS)

Ordination Mass drew 1,400 people, with an extra 500 turned away by authorities

Faithful pray at a Mass in Xiliulin, China (Photo: CNS)

China proposal to the Holy See offers hopes of breakthrough

Vatican spokesman says that such an ordination would damage relations between the Holy See and China