Few Remarks on the Genesis of Political and Dogmatic Problems of Modern Catholicism in China
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Few Remarks on the Genesis of Political and Dogmatic Problems of Modern Catholicism in China
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Dinara V. Dubrovskaya 
Institute of Oriental Studies of the Russian Academy of Sciences
State Academic University for the Humanities (GAUGN)
Address: Russian Federation, Moscow

The paper presents an attempt to fill in some research gaps in the relationships between the Government and Catholics of the People’s Republic of China with the Vatican and with the Catholic Church as a whole. It is a common knowledge, that there are no official ties between Chinese Catholics and the Holy See, which is caused not only by general historical reasons, but also by specific circumstances, which include the tragedy associated with the execution of the Italian pilot of the First World War, Antonio Riva, who lived in Beijing and was executed for trumped up accusations. The publication shows how the relationship between the Chinese authorities and the Papal Throne, already complicated by centuries of misunderstanding, was further undermined due to an insoluble tangle of problems, associated with the non-recognition of Taiwan. Considerable attention is paid to the personality and statements of the Bishop of Beijing Fu Tieshan (1930—2007), being a kind of mouthpiece of the Chinese government in matters of the the authorities’ attitude to both their Catholic citizens and to the Papal Curia. On the example of Fu Tieshan’s rhetoric of the early 80s, who concurrently headed the Chinese Patriotic Association, the author demonstrates the complexity of the Chinese Catholics’ situation, positioned between the “rock” of the CPC and the “hard place” of the Vatican, which holds a rather flexible position on the issue of diplomatic relations with Taiwan, being a necessary condition for building bridges between the Chinese believers and Rome. The paper also pays attention to another hitherto unresolved issue, i.e., the issue of the appointment of Catholic bishops in the PRC: The Vatican is fighting for its right to approve bishops appointed by the Chinese government. The author expresses cautious optimism regarding the possible resolution of the considered problems, with inevitable skepticism singling out the intractable “Taiwan question” in these positive expectations.

Christianity in China, Catholicism in China, China-Vatican relations, Chinese Christianity, Antonio Riva, John Paul II, Pope Francis, China Patriotic Catholic Association
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The article was executed at the State Academic University for the Humanities (GAUGN) according to the State Assignment of the Ministry of Science and Higher Education of the Russian Federation (topic No. FZNF-2020-0001 “Historical and Cultural Traditions and Values in the Context of Global History”).
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