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Pope condemns China over bishop appointments

By Staff
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VATICAN CITY, May 4 (Reuters) Pope Benedict said today China's appointment of two Catholic bishops without the approval of the Vatican represented a ''grave violation of religious freedom''.

''The Holy Father learned the news with deep displeasure,'' the Vatican said in an unusually strongly worded statement.

The Vatican said it had received information that bishops and priests in China had come under ''strong pressure and threats'' to take part in the ordinations.

REUTERS SY PM1500

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