In a sharp letter to China’s United States ambassador, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops have condemned the attack of 16 Franciscan nuns in that country and called China to account for the crime.
Bishop Thomas G. Wenski of Orlando wrote that “Much of the world, regrettably, has become accustomed to the frequent suppression of religious practice, especially of Christians, in your country.”
“However,” he said, “the news of the brutal attack on defenseless Catholic nuns on November 23 in the city of Xian has come as a shock to millions around the world.”
Bishop Wenski is chairman of the USCCB’s committee on International Policy.
According to reports, the attack took place while 30-40 nuns were peacefully protesting the demolition of an elementary school when a group of men, armed with sticks and clubs, charged the sisters.
The Bishop wrote that “this barbaric behavior calls for a thorough investigation and appropriate sanctions against those responsible.”
“Government offers” he pointed out, “to pay for part of the hospital expenses incurred is implicit acknowledgement of official involvement in the attack and is a thoroughly inadequate response.”
He added that his predecessor, Bishop John Ricard, “wrote to you three times over the past two years without receiving a response from your Embassy. I do hope that you will communicate our concerns to Beijing and I request the honor of a reply.”