'Patriotic' church prays for China's 2008 Olympic bid win
On Sunday Bishop Michael Fu Tieshan, president of the Chinese Catholic Patriotic Association, China's state-controlled Catholic Church, celebrated a special Mass to pray for the selection of Beijing as host for the 2008 Olympic Games.
According to the Xinhua news agency, some 900 "Patriotic" Catholics participated in the service.
"We are offering our full support to Beijing's bid to host the Olympic Games," said Bishop Fu. "I hope every Catholic engages in helping the bid."
The Catholic Patriotic Association, which has an official membership of 4 million members, is the only Catholic Church recognized by the Chinese authorities. The Patriotic Association does not recognise the authority of Rome, although some of its members have been known for being secretly loyal to the Pope.