I was heartened to hear from our new Archbishop Neinstedt that he opposed the Iraqi War of Agression from its inception, even when it was patently unpopular to do so. I wonder when our USCCB will do the same in a public and meaningful way.
Here is a piece from Zenit on Cardinal Zen and his relations with the hong Kong and mainland Chinese government. This Cardinal certainly tells it like it is. If Beijing is waiting for bCatholic ishops to quit "interfering" in society, then it'll be a long wait indeed.
HONG KONG, JULY 3, 2007 (Zenit.org).-
Cardinal Joseph Zen Ze-kiun, bishop of Hong Kong, took part in a July 1 pro-democracy demonstration marking the 10th anniversary of the city's return to China.Cardinal Zen defended democracy at the event's prayer vigil, AsiaNews reported.The cardinal spoke of those who say that democracy provides for a less comfortable lifestyle: "That is absurd and goes against the experience of the whole world: Only democracy can guarantee better living conditions for the people."In Hong Kong, what is the result of the impasse in democracy? A worsening of the gap between the rich and the poor!"
According to organizers, the pro-democracy march drew more than 64,000 people demanding that Beijing respect Hong Kong's constitution and implement universal suffrage. ReproachCardinal Zen recalled that 10 years ago, during the Mass to mark the hand over, he said: "I hope the political return to the motherland may bring also a return to our traditional culture.""Looking back now what do we find?" the 75-year-old cardinal asked.
"The traditional values of decency, justice, honesty and self-respect have given way to a new culture of toadying the powerful and oppressing the weak." Cardinal Zen urged: "Let us put down our feeling of helplessness, take courage again and carry on the march for democracy. May the Lord show us a more just and peaceful society at the end of the journey."
Liu Bainian, vice chairman of the Chinese Patriotic Association, reproached Cardinal Zen for taking part in the pro-democracy protest. He said political activism is why Beijing is reluctant to let the Vatican appoint Chinese bishops, the Associated Press reported today. ''If all Catholics in Hong Kong followed suit by demonstrating, how can Hong Kong achieve stability?" Liu said. "If the Vatican supports someone like him [Cardinal Zen], how can it win China's trust?"