HONG KONG (LifeSiteNews) – A Hong Kong magistrate has ruled that Cardinal Joseph Zen and five co-defendants will face trial next month, after determining at a preliminary hearing that there is sufficient evidence of improperly registering a legal aid fund for freedom activists.
After his hearing was initially delayed owing to a magistrate contracting the novel coronavirus, Zen, the former bishop of Hong Kong, appeared in the West Kowloon Magistrates’ Court on Tuesday – on day two of a planned five-day hearing.
Principal magistrate Ada Yim ruled that the prosecution had provided sufficient evidence against the six defendants after hearing the testimonies of five prosecution witnesses, including four police officers, the Hong Kong Free Press reported, adjourning the preliminary proceedings.
Zen was originally arrested on May 11 under China’s draconian national security law alongside barrister Margaret Ng, singer-activist Denise Ho, cultural studies scholar Hui Po-keung, activist Sze Ching-wee, and former legislator Cyd Ho, who is already imprisoned over “illegal assemblies.”
Prosecutors argued that Zen and his five co-defendants had failed to properly register the fund they established in June 2019 – the 612 Humanitarian Relief Fund – to provide legal assistance to freedom fighters who had been detained by Chinese authorities, as well as using the fund to bankroll “political activities and non-charity events.”
All defendants have pled not guilty, with the defense arguing that the group have a protected right which allows them to form an association under the city’s Basic Law, the framework established upon China’s reception of Hong Kong from British rule.
However, Yim adjourned the hearing and the cardinal will now face trial, beginning October 26.
***MAJOR UPDATE, November 10, 2022*** LifeSiteNews reported the bombshell statement issued by Archbishop Viganò, declaring that members of the “Bergoglian church” are no longer in union with the Church of Christ.
According to Archbishop Viganò:
the visible church, to which the world gives the name of Catholic Church and of which it considers Bergoglio as Pope, is no longer Church...
This statement was long overdue, and Archbishop Viganò is finally sounding the alarm — Pope Francis is leading the Church into something radically different than the Church established by Christ. Pope Francis cannot continue betraying the faithful by abdicating his duty as Universal Shepherd.
The time to redouble our efforts and fervently request that Pope Francis repent and be reconciled with the Church is NOW.
SIGN and SHARE. Defend the Church and demand that Pope Francis faithfully uphold the authentic Catholic faith!
Bishops from across the world have raised concern over Pope Francis' unfaithfulness to the 2,000+ years of Catholic teaching, and the recent statement by Archbishop Viganò is truly the breaking point into a new era for faithful Catholics.
READ THE FULL STATEMENT FROM LIFESITENEWS AND SIGN THIS PETITION TO DEFEND THE CHURCH NOW.
Bishop Joseph Strickland, Bishop Athanasius Schneider, Fr. James Altman, and two dozen more faithful Catholic priests & scholars are publicly calling out Pope Francis for his outrageous, dangerous, and heretical teaching concerning reception of Holy Communion.
Pope Francis stated that "faith" is the only requirement for those who wish to receive Holy Communion in his June 29 Apostolic Letter on the liturgy, Desiderio desideravi.
This statement is dangerous because:
- The Council of Trent explicitly anathematized those who make this claim calling it 'heresy'
- Pope Francis omitted the essential step of repentance for sin to worthily receive the Eucharist.
- Pope Francis is thereby allowing the faithful to eat and drink condemnation on themselves, should they receive Holy Communion unworthily
- Pope Francis is supporting moral relativism, eradicating the clear distinction between good and evil
- Pope Francis is eradicating the need for the Sacrament of Confession
- Pope Francis is damaging the teaching office of the Church by sowing doubt and division among faithful Catholics
But there is a way to stop Pope Francis' modernist attack and defend the true Catholic teaching on Holy Communion.
Catholics everywhere must renounce Pope Francis' heresy and uphold the truth: only Baptized Catholics in the state of grace, and therefore free of mortal sin, can receive Holy Communion*.
For those in mortal sin, repentance and absolution must first be sought in the Sacrament of Confession before receiving the Eucharist*.
Pope Francis' statement would mislead many souls, which is why we need your help today to stand with Bishop Strickland, Fr. Altman, Bishop Schneider, and more.
TELL POPE FRANCIS: HOLY COMMUNION CAN ONLY BE RECEIVED IN THE STATE OF GRACE!
The growing list of faithful Catholics who are standing for the truth and bravely resisting Pope Francis' attempt to dilute the Church's moral authority is only growing. This is great news, but the news can't simply stop with you.
You must join the growing list of supporters to but a STOP to Pope Francis' heresy.
WATCH: LifeSiteNews' co-CEO and Editor-in-Chief, John-Henry Westen, fully breaks down the growing list of faithful Catholics choosing to resist Pope Francis' attack on the faith.
Stand with these faithful Catholics: Bishop Joseph E. Strickland, Bishop André Gracida, Bishop Athanasius Schneider, Bishop Robert Mutsaerts, Father Gerald E. Murray, Father James Altman, Father John Lovell, Professor Claudio Pierantoni, Dr. John Lamont, Dr. Peter Kwasniewski, Professor Anna Silvas, Dr. Anthony Esolen, Professor John Rist, Professor Paolo Pasqualucci, Julia Meloni, George Neumayr, and LifeSite’s John-Henry Westen.
*However, if a Catholic is unable to attend Confession but has a grave reason for receiving the Eucharist (such as a priest who may be required to celebrate Mass at a given time but who is unable to go to Confession), such a person must be confident to the best of his ability that he have perfect contrition for any mortal sins that he may have committed before receiving Holy Communion in an exceptional situation.
According to the Hong Kong Free Press, the group does not intend to testify in court, nor call witnesses, relying instead on legal arguments regarding Hong Kong’s Societies Ordinance, to be submitted to the court by their counsel.
The 90-year-old prelate will be liable for a fine of around $1,200 if found guilty of the lesser charge of failing to register the fund properly; however, should he be indicted under the national security law on the original charges of “colluding with foreign forces,” he could be extradited to mainland China where it is possible he could be imprisoned for life.
The Vatican has earned much criticism for remaining largely silent on Zen’s trial, with Pope Francis suggesting that the cardinal may be to blame for his current situation.
“Cardinal Zen is going to trial these days, I think. And he says what he feels, and you can see that there are limitations there,” the Pope told reporters on the his return flight from Kazakhstan.