Earlier this morning, Vatican Press Director Joaquin Navarro-Valls expressed the Holy See’s “firm condemnation” of reported violence against groups of priests and religious in China.
He said that over the last few days, “news agencies have reported two disconcerting events carried out against, respectively, the Franciscan Sisters in Xi'an and six priests in the diocese of Zhengding.”
"These news items,” he continued, “though it is not possible to verify the exact details of their circumstances, provoke pain and disapproval.”
The Press director said that "the violence practiced in Xi'an against a number of defenseless nuns cannot but be firmly condemned” and added that “the detention of six priests of Zhengding, like the earlier detentions of priests in other localities, is also a cause for grave concern.”
Along with the Holy See’s stern condemnation, Navarro-Valls said that “As on earlier occasions, the reasons for the coercive measures inflicted upon [the priests] are unknown."