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Notable Speeches

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U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo: 'Moral Witness and Religious Freedom'

In this address, the U.S. Secretary of State calls on Catholic leaders, as well as other religious leaders, to exercise a "bold moral witness" against religious persecution — especially persecution in China.

The secretary spoke at a symposium titled "Advancing and Defending International Religious Freedom through Diplomacy," sponsored by the U.S. Embassy to the Holy See. That event was held in Rome on Sept. 30, 2020.

Earlier in September, Mr. Pompeo wrote an article for the religious magazine First Things in which he argued that the Vatican would endanger its moral authority if it renews a cooperation deal with Beijing signed in 2018. The deal is set to expire later this year.

"The Church’s hope was that it would improve the condition of Catholics in China by reaching agreement with the Chinese regime on the appointment of bishops," Mr. Pompeo wrote. "Two years on, it’s clear that the Sino-Vatican agreement has not shielded Catholics from the [Communist] Party's depredations, to say nothing of the Party's horrific treatment of...other religious believers."

Secretary Pompeo's address has been condensed slightly for this podcast. A transcript his full remarks is at

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