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Cardinal Zen urges end to compromises with Chinese Patriotic Association

June 16, 2009

In a provocative interview with the AsiaNews service, Cardinal Joseph Zen has insisted that Chinese Catholics must follow the instructions issued by Pope Benedict XVI in his 2007 letter to the Church in China. In particular the cardinal said that religious freedom must be carefully protected. He lamented the compromises being made by Church officials on the mainland, to accommodate the wishes of the government-controlled Catholic Patriotic Association, and said that cooperation in a nationwide assembly of Catholics under the control of the Patriotic Association would amount to a "slap in the face" for the Pope, since they contravene his directives. Cardinal Zen, who stepped down in April from his post as Bishop of Hong Kong, said that the Church must act boldly to defend religious freedom, regardless of the cost.


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