.- Several Catholic websites that are housed in mainland China were forced by the government to remove the Popeâs letter to the Catholics in China from their website, reports UCA News.
As of today, some sites still have the full 19,763 Chinese character text, but these are mostly all run by Catholics that are âunderground.â
At 6:00 p.m. Beijing time on the day that the letter was issued, several mainland Catholic websites had already been forced to substitute a simplified version of the letter for the full length one they had published only hours earlier.
A priest in charge of such a website registered with the government told UCA News on July 2 he felt helpless because he strongly believes that "China church websites should publish the pope's letter."
The priest, who asked not to be named, said some government officials came to his office on June 29 and asked about the letter but did not explicitly say he could not carry it. The next evening, he uploaded the letter to his site, but was told on July 1 morning he was not allowed to upload the text.
Other popular Catholic websites in China were warned to remove or not upload the letter. Some sites even informed their readers on June 29 that the long-awaited papal letter would be released the next evening, and urged their readers to watch for it and related reports. But since then, the same sites have only carried Vatican news since the government has refused to let the letter or any news about it be published.