In a new sign of improving relations between the Vatican and China, Cardinal Roger M. Mahony has just returned from China, where he met with Catholic church and government officials and publicly celebrated Mass in a parish church in Shanghai.
Mahony, the Roman Catholic archbishop of Los Angeles, said this week that he was "very optimistic" that diplomatic ties between the church and Beijing would be established, opening a new chapter in a long and sometimes difficult history in church-state relations. Mahony's low-key journey was not announced in advance because of what archdiocesan spokesman Tod Tamberg called diplomatic sensitivities. Although Mahony described the tour as a private sabbatical, he said he is preparing a report of his findings for the Vatican.
Mahony was not the only U.S. cardinal to visit China recently. Cardinal Theodore E. McCarrick of Washington paid a two-day call on Beijing in mid-October -- his seventh to that country.
Read the complete article Vatican, China inch closer to reconciliation from The China Post.
Blah, blah. Your usual article recounting the visit of a dignitary to some foreign land and the basic recap on Holy See-People's Republic relations since Benedict's election. The cardinal's comments at the very end though bear pointing out:
But Mahony said that change will come gradually, quoting Chinese bishops as calling it "a marathon of tiny steps."
"There can't be a decisive moment or events and big dramatic changes like that. Things just begin to happen and slowly begin to change," Mahony said. "There are no winners. There are no losers. Guess what? This is the way things are going now."
No winners, no losers... Tell that to the guys you weren't allowed to visit who are sitting in house arrest or worse.