.- The Cardinal Kung Foundation released a statement saying that seven priests of the underground Catholic Church in China have been detained following the election of Pope Benedict XVI. The priests were detained Wednesday at an unauthorized retreat led by Bishop Julius Jia Zhiguo in China's northern city of Jinzhou.
The Chinese government only allows state-sanctioned Catholic worship and forbids loyalty to the Pope and the Vatican.
Reportedly, the government had warned Bishop Jia not to conduct any religious activities while John Paul II lay on his deathbed or during the instillation of Pope Benedict XVI. The Cardinal Kung Foundation also noted that the bishop had been under police surveillance for much of the past month.
The Foundation identified the detained priests as, Wang Dingshan, Li Qiang, Liu Wenyuan, Zhang Qingcai, Li Suchuan, Pei Zhenping and Yin Zhengsong.
Bishop Jia, who has refused to affiliate himself with the communist-controlled state Catholic Church for years, has been detained and harassed by the Chinese government numerous times.