Pope Benedict XVI has written a letter to the Chinese government that offers reconciliation, with hopes to end the persecuation of underground churches.
From the New York Times:
In an extraordinary open letter directed to Chinese Catholics and released Saturday, Pope Benedict XVI acknowledged the suffering experienced by Catholics under Communist rule but also concluded that it was time to forgive past wrongdoings and for the underground and state-sponsored Catholic churches in China to reconcile.
Openly hoping for a renewal of relations between China and the Vatican, which were suspended in the late 1950s, Pope Benedict reassured the Chinese government that the Vatican offered no political challenge to its authority, while urging the state-sponsored Catholic Church to acknowledge the Vatican’s control on religious matters. [Full Text]
UPDATE: The Vatican released a translated version of the Pope’s letter today, published on Catholic Online.