Seven Catholic priests arrested in China

 Seven underground priests belonging to the Diocese of Zhengding, Heibei were arrested at 5.30pm on April 27 Bejing time in Wuqiu Village of Jinzhou city. These priests had travelled from their parishes for a religious retreat conducted by Bishop Jia Zhiguo, who had just been released from 24-hour surveillance during the preceding month, when Pope John Paul II was dying and when the new Pope Benedict XVI was elected. The mass arrest of priests was made by the Security Bureau of Shijiszhuang, officers of the religious bureau, and dozens of police riding in nine police cars. Bishop Jia was warned by the Public Security and religious bureaux not to initiate any religious activities. The seven priests were sent to the Security Bureau of their respective parishes as stated below. The arrested priests are: (All ages are approximate) Fathers Wang Dingshan, 50, LI Qiang, 31, and Liu Wenyuan, 35, from Gaocheng. Fr Zhang Qingcai, 45, from Wuji County. Fr LI Suchuan, 40, from Zhaoxian. Fr Pei Zhenping, 43, from Luancheng. Fr Yin Zhengsong, 32, from Dingzhou. Joseph Kung, the President of the Cardinal Kung Foundation, said: "It defies logic. How could the Chinese government on one hand proclaim to Pope Benedict XVI and the world their willingness to improve the relationship between China and the Vatican, and on the other hand keep arresting the Pope's priests? It is quite obvious that the desire expressed by the Chinese government to improve its relationship with the Vatican is less than sincere." Source: CFF

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