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As part of its ongoing efforts to reconcile China's Catholic communities, the Vatican recognized two previously excommunicated Chinese bishops as heads of dioceses.
Although China and the Vatican signed a provisional agreement on the appointment of bishops in September, persecution of Chinese Catholics continues.
The government of East Timor, one of Asia's most Catholic countries, is blocking a planned trip by its president to the Vatican, where he plans to invite Pope Francis to visit.
Finally, the Vatican has done a deal with China, or rather with the ruling Chinese Communist Party that has been conducting an escalating program of repression against religion.