Hong Kong Cardinal Slams Vatican for Not Speaking Out in Support of Persecuted Catholics in China, Says It Has ‘Sold Off the Chinese Church’

Cardinal Joseph Zen of Hong Kong has denounced the Vatican for not speaking out on behalf of the persecuted Catholic Church in the People’s Republic of China.

In an interview with the French Roman Catholic magazine La Vie earlier this month, Zen lamented the Vatican’s silence on the protests in Hong Kong.

“Not a word has come out of the Holy See since the beginning of this mobilization,” Zen said, according to a translation by Church Militant. “Rome no longer dares to criticize the Chinese government, to which it has sold off the Chinese Church.”

In contrast to the global denomination, Zen said the Hong Kong diocese has been active in supporting the large protests in the region.

Zen cited the efforts of the diocese’s Justice and Peace Commission as well as the work of Hong Kong Auxiliary Bishop Joseph Ha.

“Joseph Ha participates in the marches [and] calls [people] to pray for peace against injustice and corruption,” Zen said.

“Many people hope that he will become the next bishop, but it will not be him because he is too critical. … As for me, I am very old, but I continue to express myself because there are not enough voices.”

Last year, the Vatican and the Chinese government signed a “Provisional Agreement” in which the Vatican would recognize as legitimate bishops appointed by the regime. Previously, the Vatican excommunicated bishops appointed by the Chinese government, which did not recognize the authority of the pope. The Catholic Church hopes the agreement will help it to gain influence in the country.

As a result of the agreement, last month two Chinese Catholic bishops were ordained with the blessing of both Pope Francis and the Chinese government.

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SOURCE: Christian Post, Michael Gryboski