Letter to Chinese Ambassador on Detained Bishops, September 28, 1992

Year Published
  • 2013
  • English

September 28, 1992 

His Excellency Zhu Qizhen
Ambassador of the People's Republic of China 
2300 Connecticut Ave., N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20008 

Dear Mr. Ambassador: 

About two months ago, on July 13, I wrote to you requesting information about several Chinese Roman Catholic bishops who are imprisoned in your country. Although my letter listed these men by name, I regret to say that I have so far received neither acknowledgment nor reply. 

A month ago, on August 27, as you may recall, the newspapers mentioned the names of several persons who had been released from prison by your government, partially in response to a request by Mr. John Kamm, an American businessman residing in Hong Kong, who enjoys regular access to Chinese officials. Again, I was disappointed to find none of the names of the bishops among those set free. 

For these reasons, I would like to repeat my earlier request for information about these ten bishops and for your intervention on their behalf. As I noted to you then, in view of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the religious freedom guaranteed by the Chinese constitution, their imprisonment seems to me to be unjustified both under international law and under your own legal system. 

May I hope that you will let the U.S. Catholic Conference know about the current situation of these bishops and what steps you and/or we might take to secure their release? 

Thank you for your attention and consideration. 

Sincerely yours,  

Most Reverend John R. Roach 
Archbishop of St. Paul and Minneapolis 
Chairman, Committee on International Policy