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China    YOUTHS IN ROME DESPITE BEIJING BAN
Although the Beijing government did not allow Catholic youth to travel to Rome for World Youth Day, several dozen Chinese pilgrims did participate in the events, according to the Fides news service.
    Fides reported that the young Chinese pilgrims circumvented the government ban on travel to Rome, obtaining visas for the purposes of tourism or study and then quietly continuing their travels to include the Vatican.
    Early in August the head of the Chinese Catholic Patriotic Association, Liu Bainian, announced that no young people from the mainland would be authorised to participate in World Youth Day. But loyal Catholics, tired of the government's manipulation of the "Patriotic Church," used their own ingenuity to find ways to Rome.
    Fides saw the presence of young mainland Chinese at the Rome events as a demonstration of the loyalty of Chinese Catholics, and their great affection for Pope John Paul II.
   
CWN
   
28 Aug 00



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