The pope has published an open letter to Chinese Catholics to smooth ties with the mainland's government, the Wall Street Journal reported. "This situation of misunderstandings and incomprehension weighs heavily, serving the interests of neither the Chinese authorities nor the Catholic Church in China," Pope Benedict XVI wrote. The Vatican and the Chinese government have not had an official relationship since the 1950s. China has an estimated 12 million Catholics, who are divided into those who attend state-supervised churches and those who join unsupervised "underground" churches.
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