2 Chinese Priests Arrested After Interview

ROME, NOV. 4, 2005 (Zenit.org).- Two priests of the «underground» Catholic Church were arrested in China after giving an interview to an Italian weekly newspaper, reported AsiaNews.

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According to the South China Morning Post of Hong Kong, the police of Wenzhou arrested Father Wang Xhow Fa and Father P. Paulus Shao Gu Min.

The police would not confirm if the arrests were directly related to the interview the priests gave L’Espresso.

Both priests have suffered long periods of pressure in the past, reported Eglises d’Asie, an agency of the Foreign Missions of Paris.

Father Wang spent 15 years in a labor camp, and Father Shao Gu Min was detained for 18 months in 1999-2000.

The arrests have taken place after Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Angelo Sodano expressed the Holy See’s desire to re-establish stable relations between Rome and Beijing.

A spokesman for the Chinese Foreign Ministry responded that the country’s Constitution guarantees religious freedom to citizens.

The ministry’s spokesman also expressed the government’s «sincere desire» to improve relations with the Vatican.

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