Hong Kong to Aid Chinese Quake Victims

HONG KONG, JUNE 10, 2008 (Zenit.org).- The cardinal of Hong Kong praised the Chinese government for accepting international aid after May’s earthquake, and announced a year-long diocesan fundraising campaign for the victims.

“It is a great step forward,” said Cardinal Zen last week after a Mass in his diocese for the Sichuan earthquake victims.

The Chinese authorities report that the death toll is now above 69,000 and the number of missing persons is more than 17,000. An additional 5 million people were made homeless.

“The country shows its openness in the relief process, willing to accept international relief, agreeing that the world is a big family. God shows us Grace at the painful events,” he added.

The cardinal explained that China’s openness to accept aid put the needs of the human being at the center, and contradicted previous narrow-minded nationalism.

Cardinal Zen also praised Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao, who visited the disaster areas in Sichuan within hours after the earthquake. The cardinal said the premier showed a beautiful side of humanity.