WASHINGTON (May 25, 2001) -- In a letter to China's ambassador to the United States released today, Cardinal Bernard Law registered a formal protest of the reported arrest of "a significant number" of Catholics in China.
"By all accounts, there seems to have been a marked increase in the number and severity of actions taken by the State against many of our fellow Catholics in China, as well as against other religious believers there," said Cardinal Law, the Archbishop of Boston and Chairman of the U.S. Catholic Conference International Policy Committee. "This is a very disturbing development."
Two bishops and several priests are among those reported arrested recently, according to Cardinal Law.
"The denial of religious freedom, particularly to members of unregistered churches such as the several million Roman Catholics not affiliated with the Catholic Patriotic Association, has long been of concern to the Catholic Bishops of the United States," Cardinal Law said. "We have in the past registered our concerns with your Embassy, unfortunately without the courtesy even of a response."