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  • » 10/15/2010, 00.00


    Via Crucis for the persecuted will be held in Hong Kong

    Annie Lam

    A prayer vigil for jailed bishops and priests and religious freedom in China will be held tomorrow in the territory as the Diocese’s Justice and Peace Commission prevails over reticent authorities. Hong Kong Bishop Tong says Liu’s Nobel Prize “honours the Chinese people” as a whole.

    Hong Kong (AsiaNews) – The Church in Hong Kong will publicly pray for religious freedom in China and for the bishops and priests currently in jail in that country. Although Hong Kong authorities initially did not want to authorise the event, the local diocesan Justice and Peace Commission was able to prevail so that tomorrow, the Way of the Cross will go ahead as planned. In the meantime, Hong Kong’s Bishop Emeritus, Cardinal Joseph Zen Ze-kiun, and his successor, Bishop John Tong Hon, congratulated Liu Xiaobo for winning the Nobel Peace Prize, an award that “honours the Chinese people” as a whole.

    During the gathering, in which Cardinal Zen will speak, jailed bishops and priests will be remembered, including Bishop James Su Zhimin of Baoding, Cosmas Shi Enxiang of Yixian and Father James Lu Genjun of Baoding.

    Initially, the authorities had refused to grant organisers a permit for the event. In September, the Hong Kong Leisure and Entertainment Department had turned down the Justice and Peace Commission’s application to hold a procession starting at the Southorn Playground, claiming it was all “booked”. When organisers fell back on the smaller Lockhart Road, the authorities continued to be against their request for “political reasons”.

    Only when the media picked up the story did the authorities grant permission to use the Southorn Playground. Nevertheless, the diocese was none too pleased. In a statement, it slammed the authorities for their attitude, which, in its view, tends to undermine the rights of all Hong Kong citizens.

    At the same time, Hong Kong’s bishop, Mgr John Tong Hon spoke about the Nobel Prize going to mainland dissident Liu Xiaobo, saying that it “honours the Chinese people” as a whole. In his statement, the prelate congratulated the winner, who co-authored Charter 08, and his family. He also cited Chinese premier Wen Jiaobao who said that the appeal of democracy and freedom cannot be obstructed.

    Bishop Tong also expressed hope to see the release of Liu and all those jailed for demanding democracy and freedom, including religious freedom, for they “can make a greater contribution to the country” and increase its “prestige in the international community.”

    Speaking to AsiaNews, Card Zen said that some day he too hopes to see the day when the Chinese people can fully express support for Liu’s early release.

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    See also

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    28/06/2017 14:28:00 HONG KONG – CHINA
    What changes and what remains of the last 20 years of Hong Kong. The contribution of Christians

    The handover of the former British colony to China in 1997 did not come without pain. Still, Beijing respected Hong Kong’s way of life for several years. In recent times though, mainland meddling in Hong Kong's internal affairs has increased. This has sparked a strong reaction in favour of democracy as well as autonomy, especially among young people. The Catholic Church remains committed to the common good. Card Zen is considered a hero of democracy and the marginalised. It is still possible to build trust between rulers and ruled. What follows is an analysis by a researcher at the Chinese University of Hong Kong.

    24/09/2009 HONG KONG – CHINA
    Cardinal Zen calls on China to release imprisoned bishops on its 60th anniversary
    The prelate’s proposal is made on the website of the Diocese of Hong Kong. Zen praises Hu’s remarks on promoting democracy and solidarity, urges the Chinese government to hold talks with the Holy See.

    11/03/2009 HONG KONG - CHINA
    Cardinal Zen to leave helm of Hong Kong diocese after Easter
    The diocese will be handed over to coadjutor bishop, Mgr John Tong. He will follow Cardinal Zen’s path in running the Church and in the relationship towards China and the authorities in Beijing. The Chinese Catholic Patriotic Association hopes instead for a shift. Cardinal Zen will continue to follow the situation of the Church in China.

    01/07/2007 HONG KONG – CHINA – VATICAN
    Cardinal Zen: “Pope’s letter to the Chinese Church represents love for truth and his children”
    The bishop of Hong Kong, Card Joseph Zen Ze-kiun, hopes that Benedict XVI’s letter to China’s clergy and faithful may be the starting point for a direct dialogue between the local Church and the Beijing government. He stresses the letter’s religious rather than its political tone.

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