China’s state-run newspaper lambasted recently Pope Benedict XVI in its editorial, accusing the Vatican of being untrue to Catholic core beliefs, and saying it is unrealistic in its policy towards China.

While the Chinese government has issued no official rebuttal to the pope’s Christmas message which criticized China for curtailing religious freedoms, the government-approved Global Times editorial said the Vatican should lay off Beijing’s affairs, The Irish Times said.

The Global Times is the English language version of the government’s People’s Daily newspaper, The Irish Times reported.

The Global Times’ editorial said, “The Vatican’s claim that religious identity goes beyond everything else is unrealistic, and even harmful.” It added, “What the Vatican demands from China is power, it is not about the true core of Catholic belief.”

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