Cardinal Zen: 'Rome No Longer Dares to Criticize the Chinese Government'

By Michael W. Chapman | September 26, 2019 | 3:17pm EDT
Cardinal Joseph Zen, the
Bishop Emeritus of Hong

When asked about the Catholic Church's support for the pro-democracy demonstrations in Hong Kong, Cardinal Joseph Zen, the Bishop Emeritus of Hong Kong, said that neither the Vatican nor Pope Francis has said a word, and added that the church in China has been sold out to the government. 

"No word has come out of the Holy See since the beginning of this mobilization," said Cardinal Zen in an interview with La Vie.  "Rome no longer dares to criticize the Chinese government, whom I consider to have sold [out] the Chinese Church."

Pope Francis.  (Getty Images)

As for the Catholic Church in China in general, "everything passes by Cardinal Parolin, the Secretary of State of the Holy See," said the cardinal. "Know that the situation of Christians in China is terrible.There was first this secret agreement, in September 2018, on the appointment of bishops."

Protesters attend a pro-democracy march in Hong Kong on September 15, 2019. - Millions of people have taken part in demonstrations over the last three months which have morphed into calls for democracy and complaints against the erosion of freedoms under Beijing's rule. (Photo by NICOLAS ASFOURI/AFP/Getty Images)

"Why secret?" he said.  "Then, not only the excommunicated official bishops were reinstated in the Church, but they were ordained again! Yet they showed no sign of repentance. And for two of them, everyone knows they have women [girlfriends] and children."

Since the 1950s there have been two Catholic churches in China -- the official, government-run church called the Catholic Patriotic Association (CPA) and the real, underground Catholic Church, which has been persecuted for decades. 

In September 2018, the Vatican reportedly signed a deal with the Communist Chinese government to bring the two churches together. However, the actual document has not been released by Rome or Beijing and long-time faithful Catholics, including Cardinal Zen, have been critical of the new arrangement.

The ongoing protests in Hong Kong, which started in June 2019, have involved up to two million people at times. The citizens initially protested a proposed extradition bill with China for people accused of crimes, and then the protests expanded to demands for greater democratic reforms. 

h/t Church


CNSNews Reader,

The media are hard at work weaving a web of confusion, misinformation, and conspiracy surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic.

CNSNews covers the stories that the liberal media are afraid to touch. It drives the national debate through real, honest journalism—not by misrepresenting or ignoring the facts.

CNSNews has emerged as the conservative media’s lynchpin for original reporting, investigative reporting, and breaking news. We are part of the only organization purely dedicated to this critical mission and we need your help to fuel this fight.

Donate today to help CNSNews continue to report on topics that the liberal media refuse to touch. $25 a month goes a long way in the fight for a free and fair media.

And now, thanks to the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, you can make up to a $300 gift to the 501(c)(3) non-profit organization of your choice and use it as a tax deduction on your 2020 taxes, even if you take the standard deduction on your returns.

— The CNSNews Team



Sign up for our CNSNews Daily Newsletter to receive the latest news.