Cardinal Joseph Zen Ze-kiun


European Parliament Asks the Vatican to Support the Cardinal Emeritus of Hong Kong

Summary: Cardinal Zen was imprisoned last May and subjected to harassment by the Chinese Communist Government.

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Joachin Meisner Hertz


(ZENIT News / Strasbourg, 08.07.2022).- On Thursday, July 7, the European Parliament adopted three resolutions regarding respect for human rights in Hong Kong, Brazil and Tajikistan. In regard to the situation in Hong Kong, the Parliament exhorted the Vatican to support the Cardinal Emeritus of that city, Cardinal Joseph Zen Ze-kiun, SDB, who was arrested by the Authorities of the Chinese Communist Government last May. 

In regard to Cardinal Zen, the European Parliament said specifically:

“The European Parliament condemns the detention of Cardinal Joseph Zen, one of the firmest defenders of Hong Kong’s Pro-Democratic Movement, and of the other four fidei-commissioners of the Humanitarian Aid Fund 612, which provides humanitarian and financial aid to wounded, detained or menaced individuals during the protests against the Extradition Amendment Act. The European deputies point out that these and other similar repressive actions, such as the closing of over 60 groups of the civil society, are an attack on the liberties guaranteed by the Basic Law of Hong Kong, including freedom of religion or of beliefs. They are also symptomatic of China’s constant efforts to systematically destroy the last vestiges of Hong Kong’s autonomy and liberties and to repress the Pro-Democratic Movement. 

The resolution urges the Hong Kong Authorities to withdraw all the charges against Cardinal Zen and the other four fidei-commissioners: Cyd Ho, Denise Ho, Hui Po-Keung and Margaret Ng, and to free Cyd Ho. In addition, the European deputies reiterate their appeal to the EU to introduce selective sanctions in the framework of the EU’s Global Human Rights Sanctions Regime against the recently appointed Head of Hong Kong’s pro-Beijing Executive, John Lee Ka-chiu, and all the other officials responsible for the current repression of human rights in the city.  

And in an even more specific section of the resolution it:

Requests Member States to redouble their efforts to implement the Council’s Conclusions of July 2020, including the ‘lifeboat programs’ for political activists and leaders defenders of Hong Kong’s democracy, for example, facilitating the issuing of emergency visas and providing temporal refuge; it requests the Vatican to support fully Cardinal Zen and other religious leaders, who are facing persecution or the risk of detention in virtue of the national security regime in Hong Kong. It also requests the Vatican to intensify its diplomatic efforts and its influence with the Chinese Authorities, and that it demand that all charges against Cardinal Zen be withdrawn, and that an end be put to the persecution and violations of human rights” (Point E-3). 

The Parliament’s request comes days after Pope Francis addressed again the subject of the Agreement between the Vatican and China. And also a few days later a Vatican official, Monsignor Javier Herrera Corona, said to the Catholic Associations present in Hong Kong that the Government’s persecution will intensify soon.  

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