In 2007, Pope Benedict XVI wrote an open letter to Chinese Catholics insisting that the church be free of state control but said the Vatican would like diplomatic ties with Beijing. He also added that Rome is not seeking the overthrow of the communist regime.
The following year, in a widely noted gesture, the China Philharmonic Orchestra performed for Benedict at the Vatican in the presence of Beijing's ambassador to Italy.
July 28, 2011, 5:40PM
Read more: Houston Belief (warning: cheezy blog with pop-ups)
What's behind China's hard line against Catholics?