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Cardinal Hollerich questions Cardinal Zen’s perspective on China

September 14, 2022

» Continue to this story on Bree Dail

CWN Editor's Note: Cardinal Jean-Claude Hollerich of Luxembourg has said that Cardinal Joseph Zen is “controversial in mainland China,” and suggested that the outspoken Chinese prelate may be making life more difficult for members of the “underground” Church.

In a conversation with journalist Bree Dail, about preparations for the worldwide Synod of Bishops, Cardinal Hollerich said that he did not plan to speak to Cardinal Zen about the condition of the Church in China. “Of course I respect him,” he said, “but people [in China] say that every time Cardinal Zen speaks up, they get persecuted.”

Cardinal Hollerich said that he understood some faithful Catholics from China participated in the synod process in Japan, and he would “completely trust their response is the response of most of the mainland Chinese Catholics.” Thus he downplayed the testimony of Cardinal Zen, who has frequently warned that faithful Catholics on the mainland suffer repression under the Beijing regime.

Cardinal Hollerich, a Jesuit, was named by Pope Francis to be relator general for the 2023 meeting of the Synod of Bishops: a post in which he will guide and summarize the work of the Synod. He is also the president of the Commission of the Bishops’ Conferences of the European Union (COMECE).

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  • Posted by: Randal Mandock - Sep. 18, 2022 11:52 PM ET USA

    Zen has been on the ground for decades in China. Like Vigano, he calls it as he sees it. Open Doors, Aid to the Church in Need, U.K. leadership, and others reinforce Zen's reports on the condition of "underground" Catholics in China: bulldozed parishes, jail time, disappearances for years, re-education camps, pressure from low "social credit scores", children and youth younger than 18 banned from attendance at Mass and religious education, and other forms of persecution. I trust Zen's judgment.