April 28, 2005

More Chinese Persecution Of Catholics Loyal To Vatican

Just when it appeared that the Red Chinese might be ever so slightly softening their line towards Vatican involvement in Chinese Catholic affairs, they turn around and make a move like this.

Seven priests of the underground Catholic Church were arrested in China's Heibei province on Wednesday, April 27, the Cardinal Kung Foundation reports.

The priests had been attending a spiritual retreat led by Bishop Jia Zhiguo of the Zhending diocese-- who had been under 24-hour surveillance by police for most of the past month. Bishop Jia had reportedly been warned by Chinese officials that he should not schedule any religious activities.

The tight surveillance of Bishop Jia had begun when the death of Pope John Paul II appeared imminent, and continued through the election of Pope Benedict XVI. The Chinese government has established a history of crackdowns on the underground Church at times when religious sentiments are high-- such as Easter and Christmas-- as well as the time of major national holidays and Communist Party meetings.

The article does not indicate what has happened to Bishop Jia. Based upon this report, I presume he is still at liberty, though under observation by Chinese Security forces.

This action shows that the status quo is unchanged in China, despite official condolences offered by Beijing on the death of Pope John Paul II and congratulations to Pope Benedict XVI. Chinese Christians who refuse to be worship under the auspices of the official churches controlled by the Communist government will remain the subjects of persecution and martyrdom for the forseeable future. The international community will, of course, continue to ignore thse human rights violations, and China will continue to serve as a member of the UN Human Rights Commission.

UPDATE: If you want to see the degree to which Chinese Catholics are persecuted, follow this link. The shear number of priests and bishops prevented from exercising their ministry to their flocks is shocking.

Posted by Greg at April 28, 2005 07:27 PM | TrackBack
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