One of Asia’s top Catholic cardinals said the arrest of Cardinal Joseph Zen is a cause of concern “about the situation for human rights and threats to religious freedom in Hong Kong.”
Cardinal Joseph Zen, retired bishop of Hong Kong, reassured Catholics he is fine after being detained and held by national security police for his support of anti-government protesters.
The U.S. State Department has condemned the arrest of Cardinal Joseph Zen and others by Hong Kong police on May 11 as the latest example that the city’s authorities “will pursue all means necessary to stifle dissent and undercut protected rights and freedoms.”
Hong Kong’s national security police have detained Cardinal Joseph Zen Ze-kiun, retired archbishop of Hong Kong, along with former opposition lawmaker Margaret Ng Ngoi-yee and singer Denise Ho Wan-sze, for allegedly colluding with foreign forces.
Authorities in northern China have arrested a Vatican-appointed Catholic bishop, his seven priests and 10 seminarians in what is seen as part of a renewed crackdown on the underground Catholic Church in the communist country.
A longtime missionary in Hong Kong has praised the pro-democracy activists who received jail sentences last week for their vocal opposition to the city’s new national security law.
Protestors representing ethnic minority groups under the control of China gathered Dec. 10 near the United Nations headquarters to assail China’s government for alleged crackdowns on friends and family in their homelands. Religious freedom was among their top concerns.
In a nutshell, commentators and news outlets known to be critical of Pope Francis are styling the omission as the latest chapter in what they see as the Vatican’s appeasement of China and its Communist leadership, generally linking it to a deal signed two years ago and shortly up for review that afforded Chinese authorities a role in the nomination of Catholic bishops.
Responding to a government appeal for citizens to stay home in a bid to contain the spread of the coronavirus, the administrator of the Hong Kong diocese has suspended public Masses until the end of the month, including the Ash Wednesday service marking the beginning of the Lenten season.
As massive protests continued in Hong Kong, the Auxiliary Bishop pledged to remain with those opposing a controversial extradition bill and the resignation of the Chinese territory’s leader.