Saturday, 14 April 2007

Pope Benedict to insist on religious freedom

The Pope's imminent letter to Catholics in China is to emphasize the importance of religious freedom, thus supporting the right of Chinese Catholics to offer allegiance to the Vatican, according to Cardinal Joseph Zen of Hong Kong, writes Ellen Teague.
The cardinal said that the Pope was unlikely to sacrifice "real religious freedom" in order to facilitate diplomatic relations, according to the Catholic Hong Kong paper, the Sunday Examiner. The letter is expected to address the prospect of restoring diplomatic relations between the Holy See and Beijing's Communist Government, and will call for reconciliation between members of the state-recognised Catholic Patriotic Association and "underground" Catholics loyal to Rome.