600 Convents Praying for Religious Freedom

ROME, JUNE 25, 2007 (Zenit.org ).- Women religious in some 600 convents are praying for religious freedom in anticipation of Benedict XVI’s letter to Chinese Catholics.

The Pope is expected to publish a letter to Chinese Catholics soon. No date has been set for its publication.

The women religious are praying “so that the Holy Father’s letter is well-received, China opens up to the Gospels and gives unrestricted religious freedom to all believers,” said Cardinal Ivan Dias.

A letter signed by Cardinal Dias, prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples, and Father Ciro Biondi, secretary of the Pontifical Missionary Union, called on the religious to dedicate at least a week of prayer for the fruits of the Pope’s letter, (AsiaNews) reported.

Father Biondi said the Holy Father’s letter, which was signed on the feast of Pentecost, May 27, “will become a milestone in the history of the third millennium,” once it is made available in the coming days.

Cardinal Dias said that Benedict XVI wrote the letter “to express his paternal closeness and offer […] orientation about the life of the Church and the work of evangelization in that huge country.”