China bars Chinese bishops from travelling to see Pope in Mongolia

Chinese authorities have prohibited Catholic bishops in China from travelling to Mongolia to meet with Pope Francis during his papal visit to the tiny Catholic community in the country bordering China to the north.

The decision by the United Front Work Department of the Chinese Communist Party, first reported by America, the Jesuit magazine, is the latest sign of tension in the already strained relations between China and the Holy See.

Flying to Mongolia on Aug 31 for his four-day visit, Francis issued a telegram while in Chinese airspace to the country’s president, Xi Jinping: “Assuring you of my prayers for the wellbeing of the nation, I invoke upon all of you the divine blessings of unity and peace,” the pope wrote.

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