December 7, 2010.
Tensions continue to rise over the Chinese government's control over the Catholic Church in the region. According to Italian news agency AsiaNews, Catholic bishops have been forced against their will to Beijing to attend an assembly of representatives of Chinese Catholics. The report said sources say many of the bishops have gone into hiding or declared themselves too ill to attend the meeting.
The report said a bishop was arrested and forced into isolation.
These alleged restraints on the Catholic Church would certainly not be the first time the People's Republic of China has disregarded the Vatican.
The Vatican recently expressed its disapproval over the Chinese government's ordination of Reverend Joseph Guo Jincai, who has served as a Catholic representative to China's parliament.
Pope Benedict XVI called the ordination a “grave violation” of canon law and said China's actions hampered dialogue and reconciliation between the two parties.
The government of communist China forced local Catholics to end their allegiance to Rome in 1951. Worship is only allowed in state run churches, although millions of Chinese remain loyal to Rome and belong to unofficial congregations of Roman Catholics.
AsiaNews said in its report that the contentious assembly had been postponed for four years because bishops, true to the Vatican, refused to participate.