Hong Kong priest asks for Vatican's protection from CCP persecution

Joseph Zen ‘begging on knees’ for Catholic church to tackle religious oppression in China

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Hong Kong bishop Joseph Zen (Facebook photo)

Hong Kong bishop Joseph Zen (Facebook photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Former Hong Kong bishop and human rights campaigner, Joseph Zen (陳日君), has sent a letter to the College of Cardinals seeking protection for churches in China from Chinese Communist Party (CCP) persecution.

On Wednesday (Jan. 8), Rome's largest newspaper agency, Il Messaggero, revealed Zen's letter, which was dated Sept. 27, 2019. In his letter, the 87-year-old bishop emeritus protested that Pope Francis has stayed silent despite promising to tackle religious oppression in China.

Zen said he was "begging on his knees" for help from his fellow cardinals and criticized the Vatican for inking agreements with the Beijing government. He pointed out a document signed by the Holy See encourages Catholics in China to visit "schismatic churches" that are under the orders of the CCP.

The retired cardinal bashed Vatican representatives for taking an opposed stance to Pope Benedict XVI, Francis' predecessor. He also said he suspected the Vatican's agreement with the CCP is the same text that Benedict refused to sign many years ago, reported CNA.