Roman Catholic Bishops attending a synod at the Vatican have sent a letter of solidarity to Chinese bishops who were prevented from attending by the Chinese government.
The letter from Pope Benedict and synod participants expressed the hope that China will one day allow Catholics in that country to openly maintain ties with the pope and the Vatican.
The Chinese government strictly controls all religious activities and insists Catholics must belong to a state-controlled church instead of recognizing the authority of the pope. China says accepting Vatican appointments of Catholic bishops in the country would constitute interference in its internal affairs
The contents of the letter were revealed Saturday at the end of the three-week synod, a meeting of bishops from around the world.
Some information for this report provided by Reuters and AFP.