Led by Card Zen, Hong Kong Catholics call on China to respect religious freedom and stop unlawful Episcopal ordinations. Outside the mainlandâ€™s Liaison Office, protesters condemned the torture and abduction of clergymen.
More than 100 Catholics, led by Card Joseph Zen, bishop emeritus of Hong Kong, staged a protest last night (feast day of Saints Peter and Paul) outside the Liaison Office, Chinaâ€™s central government office in Hong Kong, to condemn Chinaâ€™s inhuman treatment of the clergy and demand the release of detained Church people.
Catholic representative Patrick Poon, who spoke at the rally outside, said Hong Kong Catholics were â€œforced to take to the streetâ€ because â€œhuman rights, particularly religious freedom,â€ of Chinese Catholics â€œhave been seriously violated to an intolerable situationâ€.
Dozens of local police officers were stationed outside the office and along the way.
Poon also spoke about the â€œsad and regrettable illicit ordinationâ€ that took place in Leshan (Sichuan) yesterday. He mentioned also the legitimate ordination that was prevented from taking place in Handan (Hebei) where bishop-designate was kept away and his personal freedom endangered.
â€œThe Chinese governmentâ€™s obstinate move to continue the illicit ordinations is a serious show of disrespect for the Church and creates division and pain within the Churchn which we strongly protest,â€ he said.
Catholics demonstrated after attending a Mass presided by Cardinal Zen at a nearby chapel. The liturgy celebrated the feast day with prayers for the persecuted and suffering in China. The event was organized by the Hong Kong dioceseâ€™s Justice and Peace Commission. [more…]