A U.S.-based Catholic organization says authorities in China have detained seven Roman Catholic priests for attending an unauthorized retreat.
The Cardinal Kung Foundation says the priests were detained Wednesday in the northern city of Jinzhou. The seven were attending a retreat conducted by Bishop Jia Zhiguo.
The foundation says Bishop Jia had just been released from 24-hour surveillance during the period between the death of Pope John Paul II and the election of Pope Benedict XVI.
Religious groups say the bishop has been detained on numerous occasions for refusing to join the state-sanctioned Catholic Patriotic Association, which recognizes the authority of the Communist government in Beijing instead of the pope in Rome.
Millions of Chinese Catholics are thought to belong to an underground church that recognizes the pope as the ultimate authority.
Some information for this report provided by AP.