The most prominent bishop in China’s state-approved Catholic church died on Friday, opening a major vacancy at a time when Pope Benedict is preparing a letter about the future of the country’s divided church.
The death of Bishop Fu Tieshan, who oversaw the politically sensitive Beijing diocese, was announced by the official Xinhua news agency. He died of lung cancer, said the vice chairman of the state-controlled Chinese Catholic Patriotic Association, Liu Bainian…
China’s Catholics are divided between a government-approved church, which honors the Pope but accepts controls demanded by the ruling Communist Party, and an “underground” one, which rejects such controls and recognizes only Vatican authority. [Full Text]
(Photo of Fu)