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Germany May Boycott Euro 2012 over Tymoshenko's Treatment

Pressure is mounting on the German government to boycott Euro 2012 matches in Ukraine this summer because of alleged mistreatment of the jailed opposition leader Yulia Tymoshenko.

(BBC NEWS) LONDON - Chancellor Angela Merkel is considering such a boycott, the German news website Der Spiegel reports.

Environment Minister Norbert Roettgen said the government should stay away from Ukraine during the tournament. Ukraine is co-hosting it with Poland.

Ms Tymoshenko says she is very ill.

She is reported to be on hunger strike and on Friday images appeared showing bruises on her body, which she says prison guards inflicted. She is being held in Kharkiv, eastern Ukraine.

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Society

Between Xi Jinping And Pope Francis, China's Catholics Are Still Stuck In Limbo

An agreement between the Vatican and Beijing was quietly renewed recently. However, China still views Catholicism with a mix of deep suspicion and general distraction. Meanwhile the faithful and pastors are caught between two very different worlds.

Chinese catholic priests celebrating mass

December 2021, Hong Kong, China: the Bishop of Hong Kong performs the eucharistic prayer.

Alex Chan Tsz Yuk, SOPA Images via ZUMA Press Wire
Jieyi Zheng

At a mass on the Assumption of Mary, the Italian priest broke the bread and gave half of it to Liu, an underground priest from China. This simple and solemn rite symbolizes communion with Jesus and the unity of the Catholic Church. But it was only when Liu left his country that he could undertake the rite with a foreign priest, who was also not allowed to preach in China.

The atheist Chinese Communist Party considers religion to be a spiritual opium, and accuses Catholicism in particular of being an accomplice of Western imperialism. The Beijing-backed Catholic Patriotic Association began electing and consecrating its own bishops since 1958, attempting to satisfy the desire of the faithful while severing the link between Chinese Catholics and the Pope.

In order to resolve the plight of Chinese Catholics, after the efforts of three popes, the Vatican and Beijing signed a two-year Provisional Agreement on Nomination of Bishops in 2018. On Oct. 22, when the world’s eyes were focused on Xi Jinping’s groundbreaking third term as president, which is also the expiry date of the previous agreement, the Vatican immediately announced the renewal of the agreement for another two years.

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