Vatican speaks out against arrest of 84-year-old bishop in China

The Bishop of Xuanhua was arrested on May 27 and was never heard from again. This is the third Roman Catholic bishop arrested in China over the past month, but the other two have since been released.

A strongly-worded statement demanded an explanation from China, which has long sought to control religious expression.

Its millions of Catholics are split between followers of Pope John Paul II and members of a state-backed church….

BBC religious affairs correspondent Jane Little says the Vatican response indicates it has lost patience with China.

It called the bishops’ arrest “inconceivable in a country based on laws”.

“The Holy See feels deep pain for these actions, for which no explanation has been given,” said Vatican spokesman Joaquin Navarro-Valls.

They breached “the rights of the person, in particular religious freedom, that are sanctioned in numerous international documents, also underwritten by the People’s Republic of China”.

The Discussion: 5 Comments

Asia by blog

Looking around Asia for what’s what and where’s where. I am not going to go over the terrible South Korean tragedy of the past week, as that was covered previously already. Instead let’s try and focus on the other news around Asia. DTL asks an interest…

June 24, 2004 @ 12:23 am | Comment

Anyone happen to know where Xuanhua is. I know that one of the arrests occured in Zhengding just north of Shijiazhuang in Hebei province. I was curious if the other two arrests were also in Hebei or if they were spread throughout the country.

June 24, 2004 @ 4:43 am | Comment

Wo bu zhidao.

June 24, 2004 @ 4:16 pm | Comment

Looking at some of the search results Google gives for “Xuanhua”, it does appear to be in Hebei.

June 24, 2004 @ 5:50 pm | Comment

SCMP said today that China claims the Bishop was at a religious conference. Some kind of “voluntary training” for the religious in China.

Let’s see, when was the last time that kind of thing was considered voluntary?

June 24, 2004 @ 10:34 pm | Comment

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