Cardinal Joseph Zen, Ever Faithful to the Church in China

Denver Catholic, Jared Staudt: Cardinal Joseph Zen, the Archbishop Emeritus of Hong Kong, was recently arrested for allegedly failing to register a charity designed to help dissidents with the police and also of colluding with foreign forces. While the Cardinal reacted to his arrest with the comment, “martyrdom is normal in our Church,” the Vatican’s Secretary of State, Cardinal Parolin, responded by expressing not only concern but also hope that the arrest would not disrupt its dialogue with China. The martyr or the diplomat — who has the Church’s best interest in mind? Following his arrest, I picked up Cardinal Zen’s reflections Cardinal Joseph Zen For the Love of My People I Will Not Remain Silent: On the Situation of the Church in China (Ignatius, 2019). I expected to the book to be representative of Zen’s harsh criticism of human rights abuses in China, which it was, but it spent even more time criticizing the Vatican for undermining the underground Catholic Church in China, which has clandestinely preserved its independence, leaving in the grips of the Chinese Communist Party.  Article is here.