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Prostitutes used against Chinese priests - Indian Currents

Posted By Ashok Chowgule (ashokvc@giasbm01.vsnl.net.in)
January 11-17, 1999

Title: Prostitutes used against Chinese priests
Publication: Indian Currents
Date: January 11-17, 1999

A Vatican news agency has accused Chinese authorities of using sexual
blackmail against priests. It is unusual for the Vatican to criticise
China openly in this way.

A report by Fides, the news agency of the Congregation for the
Evangelisation of Peoples, gave a case history. The agency said that Fr
Li Qinghua, aged 31, of the diocese of Yixian in Hebei province in the
north-east, was arrested and sent to a special unit for priests in
Xushui, near Baoding. Here female service staff were sent into the
cells, ostensibly to carry out the daily chores but in fact to tempt the
priests into sexual relations, Fides said. One of the priests was
quoted as saying that "these girls try in every way to establish a
sexual relationship with you, flooding you with a river of words and
signals to make you fall into temptation".

According to the news agency, a video camera inside the unit was used to
gather material "to blackmail the priest, make him give names of other
underground priests and force him to enrol in the government-sponsored
Chinese Catholic Patriotic Association".

The treatment of Fr Li Qinghua amounted to "brainwashing", Fides
charged, consisting of "severe interrogation and physical and
psychological torture, at the hand of male and female 'special units'".
Fides added that priests who resisted the special unit at Xushui were
sent to "re-education camps".

The "underground" Catholic Church in China, loyal to the Pope, is still
suppressed by the Government, which recognises the official Church
operating under the aegis of the Chinese Catholic Patriotic Association
(CCPA). The establishment of the CCPA in 1957 preceded the breaking of
diplomatic relations between China and the Holy See.

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