January 28, 2012. (Romereports.com)
When it comes to religious freedom, the Church in China usually sparks controversy. According to latest reports, the Chinese government has three bishops and six priests under its custody, whether in prison or some type of labor camp.
Their situation has been constantly updated by Catholic news agency Asia News. They've started a campaign, calling on the Chinese Parliament to release these prisoners. Fr. Bernardo Cervellera
Director, Asia News
“We know why they are in prison, they are there because they refuse to open themselves to the Patriotic Church, and then because of this they are isolated from the population and they can no longer do their ministry service”
Asia News regularly supports campaigns of human rights. For many years now they have fought for the release of James Su Zhimin
and Cosma Shi Enxiang
, two underground bishops who remain loyal to Rome. The third bishop is Wu Qinjing
, who belongs to the “official Church of China.” The latest reports indicate he's held under house arrest.
Father Bernardo Cervellera is the director of Asia News. He says China's path of liberizing economic policies, while ignoring complaints of religious freedom
, can't go on forever.Fr. Bernardo Cervellera
Director, Asia News
“The Chinese government which receives so much applause for being the second world economy, a very developed country, with a very strong increase in gross domestic product, yet there is this flaw, their point of view on religious freedom that needs to be corrected if it wants to present itself as a world leader.”
Even Benedict XVI designated a day to pray for the Church in China
, held every May 24. It was created as a way to promote unity among Chinese Catholics. They are separated between two groups, one is the Patriotic Church that falls under the umbrella of the Chinese government. The other is the underground Church that remain loyal to Rome.