Silence Is Not Golden

News: Video Reports
by Nicholas Wylie  •  •  September 27, 2022   

Support lacking for persecuted cardinal

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Officials in the Vatican seem eager to appease the Chinese Communist Party, even if it means sacrificing one of their own. 

Church Militant's Nick Wylie discusses the sham trial of a faithful prelate and the recent silence from other members of the hierarchy.

Cdl. Joseph Zen, bishop emeritus, Hong Kong: "Many people prefer to talk about peace, reconciliation. But this is war. The whole history is always a war."

Cardinal Joseph Zen and five others stood trial today after being arrested in May on charges of breaking China's national security law. 

All six pleaded not guilty to the charges of failing to register the 612 Humanitarian Fund they headed from 2019 to 2021. The fund was established to help meet the medical and legal needs of pro-democracy protestors. 

The Vatican has remained silent on the issue, outside of the statement it released in May following Zen's arrest. Pope Francis even refused to give a direct answer about the cardinal's trial when asked in an in-flight interview earlier this month. 

Cardinal Gerhard Müller spoke in an interview about Zen's trial, stating, "From the silence of this consistory on the Zen case, I have fears."

"In this case," he added, "I wonder, why not criticize Beijing? Zen is a symbol, and he was arrested on a pretext; he did nothing. He is authoritative, courageous and much feared by the government."

Under the current charges, the cardinal and his companions could face a maximum fine of almost $13,000 and no jail time, but further charges could be sought under the national security law. 

Cardinal Zen has been an outspoken critic of the Vatican's dealings with the Chinese Communist Party. The current Vatican–China deal expires next month, but Vatican secretary of state Cdl. Pietro Parolin said recently he expects the deal to be renewed.

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