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.”
9/24/09 China (AsiaNews) In a message for the 60th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China, Card Joseph Zen, the bishop emeritus of Hong Kong called on Chinese President Hu Jintao to free all Catholic bishops in prison.
In his message, which was made public yesterday on the website of the Diocese of Hong Kong, Cardinal Zen said: “After 60 years since the founding of the People’s Republic of China, the time has come for its leaders to be courageous and correct past mistakes by releasing religious leaders who were deprived of their freedom (from Su Zhimin [bishop of Baoding (Hebei)], seized decades ago to Mgr Jia Zhi Guo [bishop of Zhengding], detained last March). This is the time for leaders to step down from their high places and directly engage our bishops in dialogue because they are the real heads of the Church.”
They are “only concerned with hanging onto power and [protect] their own interest without concern with the real interest and policies of the state.” All this leads to a “stalemate” and to delays that cause damage.
The cardinal is referring here to unspecified “ultra leftist” figures who still want to oppose the Christian faith to patriotism, but it is not hard to see that these (unnamed) individuals are in fact top officials in the country’s patriotic associations and the Ministry of Religious Affairs.