Beijing, Dec 23(ANI): China has rejected the Vatican's criticism of a recent national congress of Chinese Catholics, blaming the Vatican for damaging relations between the two sides.
The Vatican had earlier condemned the congress, which was held from December 7 to 9 to elect the new leadership of China's Catholic church, and accused China of violating religious freedom.
The congress had elected the heads and other senior members of the Chinese Catholic Patriotic Association (CCPA) and the Bishops' Conference of the Catholic Church in China (BCCCC).
A spokesperson for the State Administration for Religious Affairs (SARA) said that the Vatican's criticism was very imprudent and ungrounded.
The spokesperson said that the congress does not deal with Catholic doctrines or violate the fundamental Catholic faith, and "there is no question of getting recognition by any foreign organization or state".
"China's religious freedom is protected by the Chinese Constitution, and it is a misinterpretation by the Vatican to declare the incompatibility of Catholic doctrine and the Chinese Catholic church's principle of independent self-governance," the Xinhua news agency quoted the spokesperson, as saying. (ANI)