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Cardinal Zen found guilty in Hong Kong trial

November 25, 2022

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CWN Editor's Note: Cardinal Joseph Zen, the retired Bishop of Hong Kong, was found guilty on November 25 on charges of failing to register a charitable fund that provided legal help for defendants accused of violating China’s draconian new “security” law.

The cardinal and five co-defendants will be required to pay a fine equivalent to $500.

After his conviction, Cardinal Zen said that the case should not be seen as a violation of religious freedom. But the 90-year-old cardinal, an outspoken supporter of democracy, hinted that the conviction was a violation of other human rights. He identified himself as “a Hong Kong citizen who strongly supports providing humanitarian assistance.”

The Vatican had avoided comment on Cardinal Zen’s case. But after the verdict was released, the Vatican News service issued a carefully worded report, pointing out that the law under which the cardinal and his co-defendants were sentenced allowed an exemption for organizations “”exclusively for religious, charitable, social or recreational purposes.”

The Vatican News story concluded with a noteworthy statement, acknowledged Cardinal Zen’s fight for religious freedom but muting his accusations against Beijing by using the word “allegedly”:

In the past, Cardinal Zen has also criticized the Chinese Communist Party for allegedly persecuting religious communities.

The above note supplements, highlights, or corrects details in the original source (link above). About CWN news coverage.


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