25 November, 2015 AsiaNews.it Twitter AsiaNews.it Facebook            

Help AsiaNews | About us | P.I.M.E. | | RssNewsletter | Mobile

mediazioni e arbitrati, risoluzione alternativa delle controversie e servizi di mediazione e arbitrato

e-mail this to a friend printable version

» 10/19/2011
Card. Zen on hunger strike for freedom of education in schools
by Paul Hong
The cardinal criticizes the decision of the Supreme Court in favour of government control (and China) which is likely to destroy the educational system of the territory, considered among the best. Card. Zen will take only water and communion every day. Revelations of donations received by him, attempt to cast suspicion on use. The long list of help he has provided: scholarships, donations to disaster hit dioceses , theological texts and translations of documents of the Church.

Hong Kong (AsiaNews) - Card. Joseph Zen has begun a hunger strike this morning in support of Catholics’ right to freedom of education. The hunger strike which will last at least three days aims to "underline the unjust ruling of the Supreme Court against the diocese, which threatens to destroy Catholic education in the territory."

On 14 October, the Hong Kong Supreme Court rejected the diocesan appeal against the need for an organizing committee in school management to evaluate the school's educational project (see 10/14/2011 Appeals Court decides less freedom for Hong Kong schools). The committee would not only be formed by parents and students, but also by personalities from outside the school world – appointed by the government - who could divert the educational proposal of independent schools.

Card. Zen has always been opposed to this reform and others, which reflect Beijing's attempts to control the Hong Kong education system (see 26/09/2011 Cardinal Zen: Beijing National Education a form of "brainwashing").

In challenging this "unfair" reform, the bishop emeritus of Hong Kong has decided to carry out a three day hunger strike in which he will not eat anything, but will take only water and communion.

"I want to highlight the Supreme Court’s wrong decision - he told AsiaNews – which is a great injustice to the Church and the territory of Hong Kong and which threatens to destroy the educational system of the area, considered one of the best in the region, of high quality and efficiency".

Card. Zen has been supported in his hunger strike by many personalities from the region.

Anglican and Methodist leaders have also criticized the Supreme Court decision and are also worried about government interference (and China) in the Christian educational proposal.

As he began his fast, some blogs have appeared on the Internet that show the amount of donations received by Card. Zen in recent years. The sum is about 3 million Hong Kong dollars a year (about 300 thousand euros). The donations were made by the tycoon Jimmy Lai, a convert to Catholicism and a supporter of democracy in Hong Kong and China.

Though the revelations did directly accuse anyone, they have attempted to raise the suspicion that Card. Zen pocketed all that money for himself or to support the democratic movement in the direction of anti-China.

In a press conference, the Cardinal revealed that he has used the money to support scholarships for Chinese Catholic students, help for official and underground bishops in China; he has supported dioceses affected by natural disasters (tsunamis, earthquakes, floods); translations into Chinese of documents and theological texts of the Church "If I used it for myslef - told AsiaNews kidding - I would buy a luxury car and a driver. Instead I have to use my old car and drive it myself".

(Photo: Rthk)

e-mail this to a friend printable version

See also
09/01/2012 HONG KONG - CHINA
Hong Kong, students still on hunger strike against "national education"
10/25/2011 HONG KONG
Card. Zen: My struggle and that of Hong Kong for Catholic schools
by Card. Joseph Zen Zekiun, sdb
09/16/2011 HONG KONG
Mgr Tong calls for prayers to save Hong Kong’s Catholic schools
12/11/2006 HONG KONG
Card. Zen: “Government is heartless, disrespectful of Church regarding schools”
09/03/2012 HONG KONG - CHINA
All-out hunger strike in Hong Kong against China's patriotic education

Editor's choices
Paris Massacre highlights the failure of Muslim integration in Europe
by Catherine FieldThe attack in the heart of France highlights the crisis of Europe’s model of coexistence. Social unrest, poverty and marginalisation feed youth extremism and radicalisation. A New Zealander journalist, expert on expertise in religion and interfaith dialogue, talks about it after undertaking a journey through the French Muslim world.
For Nîmes imam, Islam should not be held hostage by extremists
by Hochine DrouicheFrench imams condemn the Paris terrorist attacks and disassociate themselves from violence committed in "the name of our religion." At the same time, they ask Muslim communities to dare leading a life of dialogue and friendship with Europeans, without fear or arrogance. For centuries, Muslims have ruled out reason from their religious life. The vice president of French imams bears witness.
AsiaNews marks 12 years: Persecution and hope
by Bernardo CervelleraDespite a worldwide increase of ignorance, indifference and superficiality, many signs of love and hope resist even in the most gloomy situations: the Iraqi mother who gives birth to her child in a refugee camp and smiles even though she has nothing; the Indonesian Muslim mother who blesses her son who became a Christian and a priest; the Chinese Christian families that welcome children thrown away because of the one-child law.


Copyright © 2003 AsiaNews C.F. 00889190153 All rights reserved. Content on this site is made available for personal, non-commercial use only. You may not reproduce, republish, sell or otherwise distribute the content or any modified or altered versions of it without the express written permission of the editor. Photos on AsiaNews.it are largely taken from the internet and thus considered to be in the public domain. Anyone contrary to their publication need only contact the editorial office which will immediately proceed to remove the photos.