ACN STATEMENT: Pray for Cardinal Zen and the Church in China

With picture of arrested priest Cardinal Zen (© ACN)
With picture of arrested priest Cardinal Zen (© ACN)

Yesterday, Cardinal Joseph Zen was arrested by the authorities in Hong Kong.
According to local newspaper The Standard, the 90-year-old cardinal was detained for his role as trustee of the 612 Humanitarian Relief Fund, which helped pro-democracy protesters pay their legal fees. After some hours the Cardinal was set free on bail. However, the pontifical charity Aid to the Church in Need (ACN) is very concerned about the condition and safety of the 90-year-old former bishop. We ask our benefactors and staff to offer prayers for him.

“Cardinal Zen has been a friend of suffering Christians everywhere, for many years. He has been outspoken in his criticism of all forms of persecution, but never defended violence in any way. That he was arrested by Chinese authorities is shocking and revealing of how these continue to fear the liberating message of Christ.

“ACN will continue to pray for the release of all who are imprisoned and persecuted for defending Christian values, and will do so inspired by the Cardinal’s great example”, said ACN (International)’s executive president Thomas Heine-Geldern.

“May 24th, the feast of Our Lady Help of Christians, was designated by Pope Benedict XVI as an annual worldwide day of prayer for the Chinese Church. ACN asks all people of good will to pray for the Church in China, so that our courageous brothers and sisters persevere, be strengthened in their faith and in all difficulties, anguish and distress.”