Vatican City: The Vatican has sharply condemned a meeting of senior members of China`s government-backed church, citing violations of religious freedom and human rights.
A Vatican statement today said the "unacceptable and hostile acts" have damaged the dialogue and "the climate of trust" between the Holy See and the Beijing government.
At the meeting last week, the government-backed church elected new leaders, including a prelate unrecognised by the Vatican to head its bishops` council.
Communist China forced its Roman Catholics to cut ties with the Vatican in 1951. Only state-backed churches are recognised, although millions of Chinese belong to unofficial congregations loyal to Rome.