VATICAN CITY (AP) — The Vatican has confirmed that two Chinese bishops attending a major Vatican gathering for the first time will return home before delegates formulate their final conclusions for Pope Francis.

The head of the Vatican's communications office, Paolo Ruffini, said Wednesday there was "no surprise" in the early departure of Bishops Guo Jincai and Yang Xiaoting from the Oct. 3-28 synod on young people. He said it was known the two had other commitments that would cut short their participation.

Francis choked up in announcing their presence on the first day of the meeting, the first tangible fruit of the landmark Sept. 22 accord on bishop nominations that aims to end decades of tensions between Rome and Beijing.

The Chinese prelates have been treated as near celebrities during the meeting.

Advertisement