The Pope's letter, believed to be about 30 pages long, will retrace the recent history of Catholicism in China, including the persecution of the Church under the Maoist regime and the recent conflicts between the "underground" Catholics loyal to the Holy See and the "official" Church sanctioned by the Beijing regime. The Holy Father will emphasize that the Church is indivisible, and explain the Vatican's insistence on independence from government control.
The Pope's letter is addressed to "the bishops, the priests, the religious, and the lay faithful" of China, the Vatican said. The notice alerting journalists to the publication of the papal message was issued on June 29 although the Vatican press office was closed for the feast of Sts. Peter and Paul.
My favorite topic and I'm sure one readers out there get tired of me harping about. The article doesn't say what if anything the letter will have on relations with the ChiComs versus relations with the Republic of China (Taiwan). I point out yet again that cutting ties with Taipei in order to better relations with the PRC is pointless. The PRC wants a photo op, that's all it wants. If we look at Sino-US relations since human rights was delinked from trade status, we see that improving trade relations has done nothing to help the poor souls in the bamboo gulag. Now that Sodano is gone, hopefully we'll see some realism in the Vatican along the lines that moving the nunciature will do nothing to help in the long term.
What the letter should say is simple: gut it out and stay true to the Church, your reward will be in the Kingdom of Heaven.