Outspoken cardinal arrested under Chinese national security law

Progressives, communists and other leftists see the separation of church and state as a black and white dichotomy. They seek to supersede any moral authority other than that which underpins their political power.

The South China Morning Post reported on May 11 that retired Cardinal Joseph Zen had been arrested by Hong Kong’s National Security Police for “collaborating with foreign forces.”

Former lawmaker Margaret Ng Ngoi-yee and singer Denise Ho Wan-sze were also arrested for allegedly violating China’s widely condemned Hong Kong national security law.

The three detainees were trustees of the defunct 612 Humanitarian Relief Fund, an organization that provided legal aid and funding to some of those who took part in the 2019 Hong Kong democracy protests. The protests were suppressed by security forces, The Guardian reported.

The Vatican expressed “concern” about the arrest of Zen, who retired in 2009 but remains an outspoken supporter of democracy and religious freedom in China.


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In 2020, Zen traveled to Rome to persuade Pope Francis to appoint a new bishop for Hong Kong – one who “the people can trust” rather than become mired in political intrigue and concerns, according to the Hong Kong Free Press.

Zen told EWTN Vatican: “We really need a bishop who will be a good shepherd for his flock. I hope he…really gives us a good bishop and doesn’t attach too much importance to the political aspect of the problem.”

It’s difficult to trust politicians and their agents at the best of times, especially in China. These aren’t the best of times. Zen never got the meeting with the Pope and was therefore unable to present his case. I wonder why

In November 2021, Francis told journalists that the church “is not a political organization,” the Catholic News Agency reported. The Pope also stressed the need for on-the-spot reporting and personal interviews to tell the truth. Try that in China. As the saying goes, “Sayin’ ain’t doin’.”

If the Church is not political, as Francis said, why was there an agreement between the Vatican and China in 2018 that allows China to elect the mainland bishops and then have them approved by Rome?

Zen criticized the deal as selling it out to the communist government, the Guardian reported at the time. “They are [sending] the flock into the jaws of the wolves,” he said. “It’s an incredible betrayal.”

To complicate matters further, the content of the deal remains secret.

In 2020, as Beijing blatantly repressed Muslims and underground Christians, the accord was renewed. If the Vatican-China deal isn’t political, neither was the collusion scam with Russia.


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No wonder Zen was denied an audience with the Pope. In every respect, the Vatican has quietly canceled it.

If, as Francis said, the Church is apolitical, it can only exercise its moral authority over China. But will it even go that far for fear of offending the communist regime?

The Vatican expressed “concern” about Zen’s arrest, and its foreign minister, Cardinal Pietro Parolin, said he was “dissatisfied” with the situation, according to the National Catholic Register. Parolin added that he was grateful that Zen was being “treated well” and hoped the affair would not disrupt the Vatican’s ongoing “dialogue” with China.

Do you agree with the actions of the Catholic Church towards China?

Meanwhile, the Catholic Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi, defended Zen, praising him as “a critical voice of conscience, an embodiment of moral strength,” reported the National Catholic Register.

The California Democrat “urged the Vatican to reject a deal that would give the People’s Republic of China a say in episcopal ordination.”

This is the same agreement that Parolin advocates.

Last week, Pelosi was ordered by Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone of San Francisco not to present himself for Holy Communion. Pelosi is vehemently pro-abortion, and that goes against Catholic doctrine and belief.

“Speaker Pelosi remains our sister in Christ,” the archbishop said in a letter to the faithful on Friday. “Your commitment to caring for the poor and vulnerable inspires my admiration. I assure you that my action here is purely pastoral and not political.”

When Cordileone said the move wasn’t political, you can believe it. There is no bait and switch. No intrigues.

Is Pelosi defending Zen to get back at the Pope for not coming to her rescue? It is possible. It would help to understand the political game of musical chair morality.

Why didn’t Francis admonish Catholic politicians who openly support abortion? Could it be that he is playing politics instead of upholding the traditions and teachings of the faith?

In 1972, Pope Paul VI complained. referring to the Second Vatican Council that “the smoke of Satan has entered the temple of God”. The smoke is the ambiguity inherent in human language. Politicians use language to gain power. To do this, they manipulate the moral authority of the Judeo-Christian tradition as a means to an end – power without morality.

This is the separation of church and state desired by the left. For them, the state is a means to heaven on earth, a man-made utopia. However, a sky full of lies, intrigue and deceit is void of transcendence. It’s heaven without God.

Cardinal Zen was released from prison on May 12. His trial has been set for September 19, according to the Catholic News Agency. Regardless of what happens during the trial, the message is clear: Zen must submit to the mercy of the court.

But he is a man of God. It is subordinate to a higher party than the Chinese communist regime.

Here in the good old USA, believers should be annoyed at the worldwide political mockery of our Judeo-Christian faith. As Paul wrote to the Ephesians, “Be angry and do not sin.”

If we are not angry, we risk approval. We are complicit in destroying the Judeo-Christian core of our nation’s founding documents.

Be angry. To sleep well.

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Grace Reader

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