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Pope pays tribute to those persecuted

ICC Note: The government forces Catholic bishops to join the state sanctioned church which is note approved by the Pope.

1/5/07 China For full story go to (Chicago Tribune) — Pope Benedict XVI paid tribute to Christians who are persecuted for their faith, including Roman Catholics who suffer because of their loyalty to the pontiff, an apparent reference to the underground church in China .

“With special spiritual closeness, I am thinking as well of those Catholics who keep their own loyalty to Peter’s Seat without yielding to compromise, sometimes at the price of grave suffering,” the pope said. The mention of St. Peter represents papal authority in Rome .

Benedict has been leading a Vatican campaign for religious liberty, with particular attention to the plight of Catholics in China . The faithful in China are only allowed to worship in a state-sanctioned church.

Chinese bishops and priests loyal to the Vatican have been detained and sometimes imprisoned. Millions follow the pontiff and worship in secret, but members of congregations are frequently harassed