The Cardinal Kung Foundation announced July 28th that three underground Roman Catholic priests were arrested at the home of a faithful Catholic on July 24th in the Ximeng region of
Loyal to the pope and their church, the trio had fled to arid
During the initial phase of their arrest, the priests were held in a lock-up and refused water and contact with outsiders. They were then removed to an undisclosed location.
In addition, a fourth priest, Father Cui Tai, 50 years old, has been held by authorities of the Chinese bureau for public security and religion since early July 2007. He has been held at the
Joseph Kung, the President of the Cardinal Kung Foundation, said: "In his China letter published about a month ago on June 30, Pope Benedict, apparently referring to the Patriotic Association, said: 'the proposal for a Church that is 'independent' of the Holy See, in the religious sphere, is incompatible with Catholic doctrine.' The Pope continued to say: 'Many bishops have undergone persecution…..lay faithful….even paying a personal price for their faithfulness to Christ.' The Pope also assured the Chinese government that Catholics can also be "good citizens" and respectfully asked the Chinese government to guarantee them 'authentic religious freedom.'"
"Let us not forget that there are, as far as we know, still five bishops in jail; many other bishops are under house arrests and severe surveillance; and approximately 15 priests and some Catholic lay persons - an unknown number of them - are also in jail. While we need to 'love our enemies and pray for those who persecute us,' as Pope Benedict told us in his