China Insists on Control of Religion, Dimming Hope of Imminent Vatican Deal

China Insists on Control of Religion, Dimming Hope of Imminent Vatican Deal Photo Bishop Joseph Li Shan, center, who was appointed by the Chinese authorities rather than the Vatican, during a Holy Saturday Mass at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception, a government-approved church in Beijing. Credit Mark Schiefelbein/Associated Press BEIJING — China will not allow any foreign interference in religious affairs in the country, a senior official said on Tuesday, dousing expectations of an imminent deal with the Vatican over control of the Roman Catholic Church here.
“I think there is no religion in human society that is above the state,” the official, Chen Zongrong, said during a briefing on religious affairs in China, underscoring the government’s intention to maintain strict control over all religious organizations and their believers.
Mr. Chen’s remarks came amid reports that the Vatican was prepared to make concessions to Beijing in the appointment of the church’s bishops — inclu..