By NICOLE WINFIELD Oct. 2, 2020 AP
U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo meets Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Pietro Parolin, at the Vatican, Thursday, Oct. 1, 2020. Pompeo is meeting Thursday with top Vatican officials, a day after tensions over U.S. opposition to the Vatican’s China policy spilled out in public. (Vatican Media via AP)
ROME (AP) — The U.S. and the Vatican butted heads over China on Thursday as the Holy See chafed at U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s public call to take a harsher stance against Chinese restrictions on religious freedom.
The State Department sought to play down the differences, but tensions were palpable during Pompeo’s two-day visit to Rome. The disagreement on China comes as the Vatican is heading into delicate negotiations with Beijing to extend its controversial 2018 accord over bishop nominations.