Vatican City (AsiaNews) The Vatican "firmly" condemns the violence perpetrated against the 16 nuns in Xian and expresses its "concern" for the arrest of 6 priests of the unofficial Church of Zhengding. Following the attack of last November 23 against the Franciscan missionary nuns and the arrest of the priests in Hebei, which occurred on November 18, the Director the Holy See Press Office, Dr Joaquin Navarro Valls, released the following statement to journalists (AsiaNews translation from Italian):
New agencies have recently reported on two regrettable incidents, suffered respectively by the Franciscan Sisters of Xi'an and by six priests in the Diocese of Zhengding. Though it is not possible to verify these incidents in terms of the exact extent of circumstances, news of them are, nevertheless, the source of grief and disapproval.
The violence committed in Xi'an against several defenceless nuns can only be firmly condemned.
The detainment of the six priests of Zhengding, as with previous cases involving various priests in other locations, is the cause of serious concern. As on previous occasions, the reasons for the coercive measures taken against them are unknown.