Sino-Vatican Relations: From Denunciation to Dialogue

By Ambrose Mong

An insightful examination of how the relationship between the Roman Catholic Church and Communist China has evolved over the years.

ISBN: 9780227177020


For those interested in Christianity in China, the state-church relationship, and the present Communist regime and its attitude towards religion, Sino-Vatican Relations offers a wealth of information and insights. This work traces the tortuous history of the relationship between the Chinese government and the Roman Catholic Church, from denunciation of Communism by the Church, to seeking dialogue by recent pontiffs such as John Paul II, Benedict XVI and Francis.

Besides examining the religious policy of China since 1949 and how the Chinese government deals with religious revivals, this work also traces the history of the church regarding the appointment of bishops in Europe from its early days to modern times. Monarchies in Europe have always been involved in the appointment of bishops. Thus, the recent agreement between Pope Francis and the Chinese authorities regarding the appointment of bishops has historical precedents. The overall aim of this work is to help readers to get the right information needed to have a well-informed opinion on the complex matter of the Sino-Vatican Relations, particularly on the agreement signed by Pope Francis with Beijing in 2018.

Additional information

Dimensions 234 × 156 mm
Pages 192

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Trade Information JPOD

About the Author

Ambrose Mong, PhD, is assistant parish priest at St Andrew’s Church, Hong Kong, part-time lecturer and research associate at The Chinese University of Hong Kong. His publications with James Clarke and Co Ltd include Guns and Gospel: Imperialism and Evangelism in China (2016), A Tale of Two Theologians: Treatment of Third World Theologies (2017) and A Better World is Possible: An Exploration of Eastern and Western Utopian Visions (2018).


Prayer for the Church in China
Foreword by Jean-Pierre Charbonnier MEP
Preface and Acknowledgements


1. Failure to Form a Native Clergy
2. Religious Policy
3. Threats to Unity
4. Moving with the Times
5. Selection of Bishops
6. Church and Communism
7. Chinese Episcopacy

Epilogue: Provisional Agreement

Briefing Note about the Catholic Church in China
Glossary of Bishops’ Names in Chinese


Endorsements and Reviews

Ambrose Mong’s excellent book on Sino-Vatican relations discusses the complex encounter between them over the centuries. It covers not only the history of events, but also the lively political and philosophical debate that took place on both sides. Without this background that the book richly provides, it is difficult to understand the twists and turns in Sino-Vatican relations and why there is reason to be hopeful.
George Yeo, member of Vatican’s Council for the Economy and Singapore Foreign Minister (2004-2011)

Catholics and non-Catholics in China and the West must read Sino-Vatican Relations. Well informed and well documented, Ambrose Mong’s book offers a critical but objective evaluation of the Communist and Catholic positions. Positive and negative aspects of both sides are presented in a scholarly fashion. This exceptional book offers all we need – and it comes at the right time.
Jeroom Heyndrickx CICM, F. Verbiest Institute, Catholic University, Leuven (Belgium)

Ambrose Mong has served the academic community well by providing a lucid, readable volume on the relationships between the Vatican, the Catholic Church in China, and the Chinese Communist Party.
Rev Dr Stuart Voguel

[Mong] provides a framework for understanding the Vatican-China relationship in its contemporary unfolding which will be of value to anyone wishing to be better informed regarding the possibilities and dangers of the current situation.
Trish Madigan, in Swag, Winter 2020