U.S. silent on China-Vatican rift

U.S. silent on China-Vatican rift
U.S. silent on China-Vatican rift

The State Department declined on Thursday declined to take a stand on an attempt by China's state-controlled Catholic church to ordain two bishops without the Vatican's blessing.

The Vatican rejected the procedure as illegitimate and excommunicated the bishops.

Spokesman Sean McCormack said questions on the issue would have to be answered by the Vatican.

"As for the more general issue of freedom of religion, very clearly the United States is at the forefront of promoting freedom of expression, freedom of religion around the world, including in China," McCormack said.

He said President George W. Bush and Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice have raised the issue in meetings with Chinese officials, reports AP.

O.Ch.