Difficult path for Chinese Catholics

Difficult path for Chinese Catholics

Difficult path for Chinese Catholics

Updated 13 February 2013, 22:27 AEDT

As the world continues to react to the sudden and unexpected resignation of Pope Benedict the 16th, attention is turning to who will replace him.

The 85 year old Pontiff is due to address a crowd of thousands in St Peter's Square in the next half an hour or so.

But for China's 12 million Catholics, the news of his resignation has spread slowly, just one symptom of the heavy restrictions placed on their religion by the government.
While Catholics are permitted to worship, Beijing doesn't recognise the Pope as the official head of the Church, having established its own church in 1949.
This has lead to strained relations between Beijing and The Vatican, particularly over the right to appoint bishops - driving some worshippers underground.
So what does the change of leadership mean for relations between China and The Vatican?
Presenter: Tracee Hutchison
Speaker: Father Jeremy Clarke, Assistant Professor of History at Boston College and a Research Affiliate at the ANU College of the Asia Pacific.


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