VIDEO: [EWTN] Chinese President visits Rome but refuses to meet with Vatican despite Pope Francis’ recent appeasements to Communist China over selection of bishops. [Mar. 20, 2019]
Mr. Xi met with Italian President Sergio Mattarella, Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte and even made time to visit the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier but requested no meeting with the pope, despite several hints by the Vatican that the doors were open to a meeting. It is unusual for visiting heads of state not to see the pope when visiting Rome.
On Saturday, Italy signed up to China’s Belt and Road Initiative, a commercial alliance that has alarmed Italy’s neighbors and allies.
For its part, Italy has insisted that the deal is a win-win situation that will shore up infrastructure at ports such as Genoa and Trieste and inject new life into its ailing economy.
“We remain an ally of the U.S. and NATO, but when it’s a question of commercial relations, [signing accords] is what interests me,” said Luigi Di Maio, a deputy prime minister and leader of Italy’s Five Star Movement, following the signing ceremony.
A week ago Reuters reported that “senior Vatican sources” said that the pope had made known to the Chinese president his willingness to meet with him.
In a follow-up, the Vatican’s secretary of state Cardinal Pietro Parolin said China had nothing to fear from the Catholic Church.
In the preface to a new book on China published this past week, Cardinal Parolin wrote that the Vatican harbors “no distrust or hostility toward any country” and that the Church adopts “a stance of respect, esteem, and trust toward the Chinese people and their legitimate state authorities.”
This article continues at [Breitbart News] China President Xi Jinping Snubs Pope Francis on Italy Visit