Until 2018, the name designated the Catholic Church in China loyal to the Vatican and including those Catholics who refused to join the government-controlled Chinese Patriotic Catholic Association. Its bishops, priests, and laypersons were persecuted for decades, and the Underground Catholic Church existed precariously in the gray market. The Vatican-China deal of 2018 called for the gradual merger of the Underground Catholic Church into the Catholic Patriotic Association, creating one single Chinese Church whose bishops will be selected jointly by the CCP and the Vatican and appointed by the Pope. After the deal, the Vatican claimed that the Underground Church as such no longer existed, although the Vatican Guidelines of 2019 allow Catholic conscientious objectors to remain outside the Patriotic Association for reasons of conscience.
You are here: / CM Tooltip Glossary Pro / Underground Catholic Church