China blocks young Catholics from attending papal Mass; arrests feared
August 14, 2014
The Chinese government has blocked dozens of young Catholics from celebrating the Asia Youth Day ceremonies in Daejon, South Korea, the AsiaNews service reports.
About 100 Chinese Catholics have traveled to Daejon, where Pope Francis will preside at the closing Mass for Asian Youth Day. But another 80 people have been stopped from traveling to South Korea. Some may have been arrested.
A spokesman for the organizers of the papal visit to South Korea confirmed that many Chinese pilgrims have been unable to attend because of “problematic internation situations.” He declined to provide details, suggesting that he was concerned about the safety of the Chinese Catholics.
AsiaNews also reports that a dozen Chinese priests who are currently in South Korea have been warned that they will face “problems” when they return, if they stay for the papal visit.
Roughly half of the young people who have been barred from travel to South Korea are seminarians from Beijing. The seminarians drew the wrath of the Chinese government when they refused to attend a Mass celebrated by bishops who were appointed without approval by the Holy See.
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