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Cardinal Joseph Zen delivers his homily at a Mass on May 24 in Hong Kong.YouTube

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HONG KONG (LifeSiteNews) — Cardinal Joseph Zen told Catholics in his homily during a Mass after his recent arrest that “Martyrdom is normal in our Church.”

On Tuesday at a Mass he offered in Hong Kong, Cardinal Zen prayed for the Chinese Catholics in mainland China facing persecution, Catholic News Agency reported.

“Martyrdom is normal in our Church,” the 90-year-old Zen said. “We may not have to do that, but we may have to bear some pain and steel ourselves for our loyalty to our faith.”

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Please SIGN this petition calling on Hong Kong leader John Lee to cease all intimidation of Cardinal Joseph Zen following his arrest for supporting pro-democracy demonstrators. 

Cardinal Joseph Zen, the Bishop Emeritus of Hong Kong, was arrested by the pro-China security police in Hong Kong in a major escalation of intimidation against pro-freedom activists in the region.

Zen was one of four people arrested on May 11th on suspicion of "colluding with foreign forces", with the 90-year-old's detention marking the first high-profile move by Hong Kong's new Chief Executive, John Lee.

The Hong Kong security police targeted Zen as a trustee of the 612 Humanitarian Relief Fund, which provided “legal, medical, psychological and emergency financial assistance” to those involved in the 2019 protests against the government’s Extradition Law Amendment Bill, which allows prisoners to be transferred to China for trial.

Cardinal Zen has since been released, but his passport was confiscated to prevent him leaving Hong Kong.

The arrest was made possible under the terms of Hong Kong’s draconian national security law, passed in 2020, which Zen warned would be used to silence the Church. 

The outspoken cardinal previously confessed that he was prepared to go to prison under the terms of the new law, saying, “If right and proper words were considered against their law, I will endure all the suing, trials, and arrests.”

Cardinal Zen is a hero to Hong Kongers, and needs the world to stand with him today. 

SIGN and SHARE this urgent petition calling on Hong Kong leader John Lee to cease all intimidation of Cardinal Zen today.

The people of Hong Kong, including Cardinal Zen, have lived under the shadow of Beijing since 1997, and know personally how oppressive Chinese Communist Party rule is.

This arrest of a Catholic cardinal by communist authorities in Hong Kong is a stark reminder of the harsh realities of life for all citizens of the region. 

Cardinal Zen's plight demands the attention of all people of good-will, as his spirit of resistance in the face of tyranny continues to inspire new generations of Hong Kongers to defy the horrors of communist rule.

Please stand with Cardinal Zen today - SIGN and SHARE this petition calling for an end to the intimidatory tactics of the Chinese Communist Party's proxy leaders in Hong Kong.

MORE INFORMATION: 

Cardinal Zen arrested in Hong Kong - LifeSiteNews

Cardinal Zen calls out Pope Francis for not answering dubia about ‘murder’ of Chinese Church - LifeSiteNews

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Zen celebrated Mass for about 300 people and also live-streamed the Mass on his Facebook page. The livestream received thousands of views in less than 24 hours.

The celebration of Mass closely followed Zen’s arrest by Hong Kong police on May 11, before he was released on bail some hours later. He was accused of “allegedly colluding with foreign forces” due to his role as a trustee of the 612 Humanitarian Relief Fund.

He especially prayed for “brothers and sisters who cannot attend the Mass in any form tonight — for they have no freedom now,” Reuters reported.

Citizens are undergoing the strictest lockdown worldwide as authorities in Shanghai and Beijing are confining them to their apartments. They are not allowed to leave for any reason, including Mass.

Restrictions on Catholics continue as minors are not permitted to attend public Masses in mainland China. After Cardinal Zen’s arrest, politicians and Catholic leaders alike condemned the act and called on the Vatican to reject its secretive deal with China.

The Catholic Church has diplomatic contracts with most countries across the world. These outline the relationship between the Church and secular governments. However, the  Church’s  arrangement with China is secret, while agreements with other countries are public.

The deal was first signed in 2018 and later renewed in 2020, but the specific details remain undisclosed, though it allegedly recognizes the state-approved church and allows the Chinese Communist government to appoint bishops.

It’s a “betrayal of the real Church,” Cardinal Zen lamented in 2020 before revealing a startling detail: “It’s not an isolated episode. It’s already a long-standing policy of the Vatican not to offend the Chinese government.”

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