By JOHN L. ALLEN JR.
tWestern society is increasingly China-obsessed, and with good reason. At some point in the not too distant future the Chinese economy will become the largest in the world, and China’s growing foreign policy reach is affecting realities on the ground in hot spots such as Darfur, Burma and Zimbabwe – not always, in the eyes of critics, for the better.
tCatholicism, too, has its eyes on China. Today, a special Vatican commission on the church in China issued a message to Chinese Catholics at the conclusion of an April 11-13 meeting in Rome.
The statement addresses what it calls a "general climate of disorientation and anxiety about the future" among Catholics in China, following a recent resurgence in government pressure after what had seemed a gradual thaw.