Beijing (AsiaNews) – The Communist Party of China has unveiled its new top leadership a day after with the closing of the weeklong 19th National Congress that ended on Oct 24. Several Catholics and opinion leaders are skeptical of the possibilities for an improvement for the life of the Church. And Wang Zuoan, the director of the State Administration for Religious Affairs, ruled out that Pope Francis could visit China any time soon.
As for religious affairs, some Chinese Catholics who are active on social media think Wang, as shown from his career path, does not seem to be familiar with religion, an issue that the Communist Party regards as sensitive, with former President Jiang Zemin once described as “no small matters” in 1993.
Though media outside China labeled Wang Yang as a liberal, they said the thinking of an official would be affected by the position he or she held and thus Wang may not be as liberal on religious affairs like when he was a vice premier dealing with economic affairs. “After all, things are not decided by him alone. The new leadership is unlikely to bring change to the current situation of the church,” said Joseph, a lay Catholic who only gives his baptismal name.