Pope Benedict XVI paid tribute to Christians who are persecuted for their faith, including Roman Catholics who suffer because of their loyalty to the pontiff, an apparent reference to the underground church in China.
…Benedict has been leading a Vatican campaign for religious liberty, with particular attention to the plight of Catholics loyal to him in China. The faithful in China are only allowed to worship in a state-sanctioned church, and Beijing views papal appointments of bishops there as an interference in its internal affairs.
Chinese bishops and priests loyal to the Vatican have been detained and sometimes imprisoned. Millions follow the pontiff and worship in secret, but members of congregations are frequently harassed. [Full Text]