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Hong Kong cardinal denounces Chinese government’s oppression of the Church

Catholic World News - November 15, 2013

Cardinal Joseph Zen Ze-kiun, who served as bishop of Hong Kong from 2002 to 2009, has again deplored the Chinese government’s persecution of the Church.

Citing the “dictatorship of the [Communist] Party,” Cardinal Zen told the Zenit news agency that “despite the fact that an opening has been reached from the economic point of view, there still hasn’t been any change in politics and religion.”

“There is absolute control, contempt for the Church, the humiliation of our bishops,” he continued. “Some of them have been in prison for ten years! We, who in Hong Kong still have freedom of speech, must make our voice heard and say what we think.”

“There are those who are content at least with an apparent harmony, precisely to avoid any clash,” the prelate added. “But this is mistaken! -- because arrogance is encouraged by silence. Instead, it is a duty to continue to talk and to protest, especially for religious liberty.”

Cardinal Zen rued the actions of some foreign prelates who have met with bishops affiliated with the government-controlled Chinese Patriotic Catholic Association.

“So many cardinals have come, but what have they resolved?” Cardinal Zen said. “They haven’t done anything. They let themselves be photographed and embraced by illegitimate bishops, and, returning to their countries, they have praised China, when instead they saw nothing of the truth.”

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  • Posted by: Defender - Nov. 15, 2013 10:51 AM ET USA

    Cardinal Zen is right, of course. A number of well-known cardinals have gone to China and, ignoring Vatican instructions, concelebrated Mass with the Patriotic bishops. The Chinese government attempts to control religion and every other aspect of China's daily life. Too many still attempt to ignore the reality of a communist government and does a great disservice to those in jail and reeducation camps for keeping the Faith.

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