Catholics Rally in Hong Kong for Religious Freedom

Led by Card Zen, Hong Kong Catholics call on China to respect religious freedom and stop unlawful Episcopal ordinations. Outside the mainland’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, China’s central government office in Hong Kong, to condemn China’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 “forced to take to the street” because “human rights, particularly religious freedom,” of Chinese Catholics “have been seriously violated to an intolerable situation”.

Dozens of local police officers were stationed outside the office and along the way.

Poon also spoke about the “sad and regrettable illicit ordination” 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.

“The Chinese government’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,” 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 diocese’s Justice and Peace Commission. [more…]

SOURCE

AsiaNews.it