Faith and Formalities – This is World News in Focus


Vatican: The Catholic Church is about to re-establish formal relations with China.

According to a Wall Street Journal report, the Vatican is about to sign an agreement which practically hands over the right to appoint bishops to the Chinese government, in exchange for a resumption of diplomatic relations that had been broken up in 1951.

Currently, seven bishops in China are appointed by the government in collaboration with local church communities. They are not recognized by the Vatican, which ordained two bishops to look after the “underground” believers.

In the agreement, the Holy See is ready to formally recognize the seven illegitimate Chinese bishops, and may move the two incumbent bishops to different positions in their dioceses.

There are now about 12 million Catholics in China.

The Reuters new agency quotes a senior Vatican source that the Catholic Church in China will “still be like a bird in a cage, but the cage will be bigger.”

For more we go to EWTN:


UK: Prime Minister Theresa May paid her first official visit to China last Thursday (Feb. 1).

The Prime Minister looked to build economic ties and map out new trading arrangements with China.

May was lukewarm towards the “Belt and Road” initiative, the Chinese government’s mega-plan for trade and infrastructure links across Asia.

Nevertheless, May brought home £9 billion (US$12.7 billion) worth of new deals.

For more we go to Al Jazeera English:


Social media: Facebook will make changes to how news appears on its site.

Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg announced on Monday (Jan. 29) that Facebook will focus on promoting local news sources in users’ news feeds.

“People who know what’s happening around them are more likely to get involved and help make a difference,” Zuckerberg explained.

But investors were worried that users will spend less time on Facebook, which might affect advertising income.

Investors’ concerns were probably driven by the social network’s quarterly financial results which show that, as a result of the previous changes in news feed, users were spending 50 million fewer hours a day on Facebook.

To soothe investors, Zuckerberg insisted that the changes would ultimately benefit business.

For more we go to Fortune Magazine:


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