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Beijing Cautions New Pope on Meddling in China

The relationship between Beijing and the Vatican is a tense one. While the Vatican has been criticized by China for its ties to Taiwan, Beijing’s “illicit ordination” of Catholic bishops has been a cause for...

Dalai Lama Says Sorry He Can’t Meet Pope – Reuters

From Reuters: The Dalai Lama said on Friday he was sorry he could not see Pope Benedict during a 10-day visit to Italy in which most politicians have shied away from meeting him. China sees the Dalai Lama’s world wanderings as a serious diplomatic offence and the Chinese ambassador to Italy called on politicians not […]

Beijing bars 4 bishops from going to Vatican – David Lague

From the International Herald Tribune: In a setback for Pope Benedict XVI‘s efforts to improve its official ties with China, the authorities in Beijing have rejected a Vatican invitation to four Chinese Catholic bishops to attend a church conference in Rome… A spokesman for China’s official Catholic church, the Chinese Patriotic Catholic Association, and the […]

China tells new Pope to break ties with Taiwan

From CBC News: Just hours after Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger was named Pope Benedict XVI, a Chinese foreign ministry spokesman said Beijing is willing to improve the relationship between China and the Vatican on two conditions. One is that the Vatican break off diplomatic relations with Taiwan and recognize the government in Beijing and that Taiwan […]

AP: Pope Hoped to Visit China, Bishop Says

From AP, via the Guardian: Pope John Paul II once wrote to China’s president and never stopped dreaming of a papal visit to China, Hong Kong’s bishop recalled in an interview published Sunday. Bishop Joseph Zen said John Paul sent a personal letter to President Jiang Zemin after the Chinese were outraged by sainthood granted […]

Christopher Bodeen: Shanghai Mass for Pope Draws Thousands

From AP, via The Washington Post: Thousands of Chinese Catholics attended services for Pope John Paul II in Shanghai on Saturday, despite the Chinese government’s refusal to forge ties with the Vatican. “Our pope loved China and loved the Chinese church,” Bishop Aloysius Jin Luxian said at a memorial mass at Shanghai’s St. Ignatius Cathedral, […]

Bloomberg: China Won’t Send Representative to Pope’s Funeral

From Bloomberg: China’s government said it won’t send any representatives to tomorrow’s funeral of Pope John Paul II and said Taiwan President Chen Shui-bian’s planned trip to the Vatican is a separatist move. “Under current circumstances, China won’t send representatives to the Vatican,” Foreign Ministry spokesman Qin Gang said today at a regular press briefing […]

Jim Yardley: China’s Divided Catholics Unite, if Just to Mourn

From the New York Times: China’s 12 million Catholics are mourning the death of John Paul II, but his passing is also a reminder of an unfinished legacy: the division of Chinese Catholics from the rest of the church, and from each other. Indeed, if John Paul II helped bring down Communism in Eastern Europe, […]

AFP: China blocks Internet comments on the pope

From AFP: China’s web portals have blocked prayers, blessings and other comment on the death of Pope John Paul II from being posted on the Internet, officials said. While popular portals such as Sina.com and Sohu.com‘s on-line discussion forums were flooded with messages about the pope Saturday, no messages could be seen Monday.

PRC Foreign Ministry Spokesman on Pope John Paul II

Thanks to David Cowhig for sending this translation of a report from sina.com: The PRC Foreign Ministry spokesperson, in answering a journalists questions about whether there would be a condolences telegram from China, how does China evaluate Pope John Paul II and what hopes does China have for the next pope? PRC MOFA spokesperson Liu […]

Vatican Says Catholics Arrested in China

[UPDATED] From AP, via Netscape News: The Vatican said Saturday that Chinese authorities have carried out a new series of arrests of officials from that country’s non-government controlled Catholic Church. Update: See also, “China concerned by Pope’s condition” in the Daily Telegraph and “News of Pope’s Death Moves Slowly in China” from the AP.

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