(LifeSiteNews) — Cardinal Joseph Zen Ze-kiun, the 90-year-old retired Bishop of Hong Kong, will soon face trial under the Chinese Communist Party’s “National Security Law” for standing in radical solidarity with the vulnerable.
As Al Jazeera reported on Sunday, Zen “will face court with five others, including popular Cantopop singer and LGBTQ activist Denise Ho and lawyer Margaret Ng, over a now-defunct fund they set up to help pay the legal fees of people facing trial in relation to the 2019 protests.”
It’s the vocation of the Christian to stand in solidarity with the most vulnerable among us. For a bishop, that vocation applies first and foremost to the persecuted members of one’s own flock. But it should not stop there. And for Zen, it doesn’t.
In fact, even in his arrest and upcoming appearance before the court, Zen has given the world a great gift. In Zen, China has picked a target who shows clearly the value that Christian witness provides in the world. Because without men like Zen – and Catholics who follow his lead – brutal rulers like China’s Xi Jinping will strongarm any group – from secularist agitators to pious Muslim Uyghurs to peaceful Roman Catholics – that seeks a life free of coercion.
Again, from Al Jazeera:
All have pleaded not guilty and, in the five days allocated for proceedings, their defence is expected to argue that the group had a right to associate under Hong Kong’s Basic Law, the mini-constitution that has been in place since the British handed the territory over to China in 1997.
Beijing imposed the security law in June 2020.
“The Chinese government wants to cut off all forms of organizing and solidarity that run outside of the Communist Party’s control in Hong Kong,” William Nee, research and advocacy coordinator at Chinese Human Rights Defenders, said in an emailed response to questions. “The fact that Cardinal Zen is compassionate, caring, and well-respected in Hong Kong actually makes him a threat to the ruling authorities.”
…Throughout his career, Zen has shown support for democratic reform and giving the people of Hong Kong more say in their government. He held a “walkathon” for universal suffrage, masses in remembrance of the 1989 crackdown in Tiananmen Square and visited the Occupy Hong Kong site to provide moral support to the thousands who had gathered there.
It’s a mark of the great failures of leadership both in government and in the Church that it has now fallen to Zen and a few allied dissidents to advocate for principles that very recently represented the mainstream in our political culture.
Totalitarian China just recently put an end to the Church’s public commemorations of the Tiananmen Square massacre. Clearly, the Chinese regime represents a common threat both to Catholics and to all free peoples.
And for us lay Catholics, the path forward couldn’t be clearer.
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.
China’s atheist regime has trampled on the right of members of the Catholic laity just like you and me to live a Christian life, and is now putting our cardinal on trial for being a Christian himself.
How should we respond? For the sake of our Faith and its courageous representative, for the sake of our vulnerable neighbors who live under constant attack by the CCP menace, and for the sake of Our Lord who commanded us to treat “the least of these brethren” as if they were Himself – we must respond with a clamor like the world has never seen before.
We Catholics who live in free nations have tremendous power to influence our political leaders. It’s time to take full responsibility for that power, and bring to bear all the pressure that our massive membership can muster.
Wherever you live, let your representatives know that China’s outrages can no longer go unanswered. From the United States to Poland, from Spain to France – every nation where there are free Catholics should now be forced by public outcry to decouple from the Chinese Communist Party.
Public officials might object, claiming that our outcry distracts from “more pressing” issues. That we Catholics are being “disruptive.”
Yes, we are – and we must be. After all, in the trial of Zen, all that we in the free nations of the world hold in common is on trial.
Let the world shake for Cardinal Zen.
And let’s pray that the earthquake does not subside until China’s Tower of Babel crumbles, and not one human being is forced to live under its shadow.