Pope Francis said this Sunday May 22, 2022 follow “carefully” the ” problems “ et “the often complicated existence” Catholics in China. “I pray for them every day”, the Pope also declared to the public gathered in St. Peter’s Square in the Vatican.
François took the opportunity to ensure ” one more time “ the Catholics of China of his “spiritual closeness” with them.
A cardinal arrested on May 11
May 11 in Hong Kong, retired Cardinal Joseph Zen, one of Asia’s oldest Catholic prelates, had been arrested along with three other activists from the pro-democracy movement, to “collusion with foreign forces”. All four were released on bail a few hours later.
They were arrested for having participated in the management of a now dissolved fund, the « 612 Humanitarian Relief Fund »intended to finance the defense of activists arrested during the huge pro-democracy demonstrations that shook the former British colony in 2019.
Tense relations between the arrested cardinal and the Vatican
The Vatican had expressed concern after the cardinal’s arrest, saying “Follow the development of the situation very carefully”.
Le cardinal Zen notably criticized the Vatican’s decision to reach a compromise with China regarding the appointment of bishops in mainland China. The Vatican was later accused of downplaying the scope of his arrest.