Pope urges Catholics in China to unify under him

June 30, 2007 13:10

Pope Benedict XVI invited all Roman Catholics in China to unite under his jurisdiction Saturday and urged Beijing to restore diplomatic ties and permit religious freedom. He called the state-run Catholic Church "incompatible" with Catholic doctrine but nevertheless made unprecedented overtures toward it. In an eagerly awaited letter to the faithful in China taking up a priority of his papacy, Benedict insisted on his right to appoint bishops, but said he trusted that an agreement could be reached with the Beijing authorities on nominations.

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