Catholic News - Catholic Telecommunications, a devision of Catholic Resources





Rome condemns arrest of Chinese bishops/murder of Korean hostage

The BBC World Service overnight has been carrying a prominent story of the Vatican's protest over the arrest of three bishops in China. In Rome, the official Vatican newspaper, L'Osservatore Romano, is carrying a story condemning the murder of the Korean hostage.

Kim Sun-il surrounded by his arms-wielding murderers.
The Vatican protest comes directly from the Vatican Press Office and is based on a strongly worded statement from Holy See Press Office Director, Joaquin Navarro-Valls. The BBC leads its story with "The Vatican has strongly protested to China over the arrest of three Roman Catholic bishops – one of them 84 years old - in the past month."

The BBC's religious affairs correspondent Jane Little says the Vatican response indicates it has lost patience with China.

Catholic World News was amongst the first of the Catholic news agencies to publish the statement from Mr Navarro-Valls and added: "According to the AsiaNews service, about 50 Catholic bishops and priests, and about 20 nuns, are currently imprisoned in China. Such arrests are regularly made at around the time of major Christian feasts such as Easter, or important political events in China, such as meetings of the Communist Party."

CWN was also first in the English-speaking world with the news that the daily Italian edition of the official Vatican newspaper, L'Osservatore Romano, has strongly condemned the murder of a Korean hostage by Islamic terrorists in Iraq. They said "L'Osservatore Romano responded emotionally to the decapitation of Kim Sun-il. "The dehumanized strategy of horror knows no end," the Vatican newspaper said, denouncing the "logic of cruelty" that terrorists are using, and the "blackmail without mercy."

BBC News – Vatican condemns Chinese arrests
CWN – Vatican protests Chinese bishops' arrest
CWN – L'Osservatore condemns killing of Korean hostage

24 Jun 2004