China: two Catholic priests arrested

 Chinese police have arrested two priests of the 'underground' Catholic Church, the United States-based Cardinal Kung Foundation said yesterday. Fr Lu Genjun, in the city of Baoding, and Fr Cheng Xiaoli, a priest in Anguo country, both in Habei province, northern China, were arrested on 14 May. The Foundation, which has its headquarters in Connecticut but maintains close links with the Catholic community in China, does not give the reason for the arrests but said that the two priests led courses in natural family planning methods and in moral theology. Beijing only recognises religious organisations that agree to state control, such as the so-called 'Patriotic Catholic Association', which has no official ties with the Vatican and whose bishops are not appointed by the Pope. However, many leaders of the 'patriotic' dioceses remain close to the Holy See, albeit informally. Catholics in communion with the Holy Father are obliged to profess their faith in secret to avoid persecution and arrest. It is estimated that there are around 10 million Catholics in China. Source: MISNA

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