(ANSA) - Vatican City, October 18 - Cardinal John Tong Hon asked Thursday for prayers for Chinese Catholics that they might some day enjoy religious freedom. "It's a pity that the synod bishops have not been able to intervene," to support Catholics in China, he said. He urged prayers that the government of China would come to see the value of religious freedom. Religious leaders from around the world have gathered at the Vatican for an important synod, or meeting, on how best to spread the Christian faith. Their last assembly was four years ago. As part of the event, the Pope will canonize seven next saints on Sunday, including North American Kateri (Caterina) Tekakwitha - daughter of a Mohawk chief - as well as Giacomo Berthieu, Pedroa Calungsod, Giovanni Battista Piamarta, Maria del Monte Carmelo Salles y Barangueras, Marianna Cope, and Anna Schaeffer. The synod will end on October 28 with a mass.
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