These are the Vatican's first statements in regards to the Bishop of Shanghai, Bishop Thaddeus Ma Daqin's alleged return of to the Chinese Catholic Patriot Church.
The priest was named a bishop by the authority of the government-controlled Chinese Catholic Patriot Association. He later joined the Church of Rome, under the authority of the Pope. By doing this, Chinese authorities have kept him under continuous house arrest since 2012.
However, according to a recent post he published in his own blog, the bishop has returned to the Patriotic Church.
The Vatican has clarified that the only news it has received comes from the blog. The Bishop has still not communicated anything with Rome.
It was also speculated that the Vatican would have accepted the bishop's return to Catholic Patriot Association in exchange for some kind of diplomatic rapprochement with the Chinese regime. For the Vatican, 'any speculation with regard to a presumed role of the Holy See is inappropriate.â?
Finally, the Vatican said that the Pope is closely following everything related to Chinese Catholics although he has not made a personal statement in regards to the matter.