HONG KONG (LifeSiteNews) — Cardinal Joseph Zen’s personal secretary has confirmed that the prelate is in good health, saying reports that allege Zen is close to dying are false.
The confirmation of the 91-year-old Zen’s health came over the weekend when The Daily Compass contacted his secretary, Fr. Carlos Cheung, about a rumor on Twitter originating from the Pillar of China account.
On March 16, the Pillar of China profile posted on Twitter, “I was just informed through a friend that Cardinal Zen seems to be toward the end of his days on earth. B16 funeral shows perhaps his last breath of reconciliation with the man who betrayed us. The Church should be prepared to lose one of her last loyal sons.”
The post attracted many wishes of goodwill and assurances of prayers for the cardinal. However, Zen’s secretary firmly maintained the report was false, branding it “fake news.” Cheung said that after the cardinal’s hospitalization for respiratory problems in January after Pope Benedict XVI’s funeral in Rome, Zen has been improving, leaving the hospital a month ago. Zen is currently staying with the Salesian community in Hong Kong, according to Cheung, who affirmed from a visit to the cardinal just a few days ago that he is indeed doing well.
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.
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On Sunday, Zen himself appeared to confirm the report of his good health, posting a happy photo of himself and a message for the feast of St. Joseph, the cardinal’s namesake. In his post, written in Chinese and in English, Zen said,
“Happy Feast Day of St. Joseph! Thank you for your warm greetings and prayers! We all knew St. Joseph is the patron of the Church in China, let’s us not forget to pray for his intercession to guard and protect our Church and we also pray for those celebrating their name day, including myself, Msgr. Joseph Ha and the Provincial Fr. Joseph Ng. Thank you and Happy Laetare Sunday. St. Joseph, pray for us all!
— Joseph Zen (@CardJosephZen) March 19, 2023
LifeSiteNews’ previous coverage on Cardinal Zen can be found here.
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