Cardinal Zen awarded for efforts helping China’s Catholics, Hong Kong

Former bishop of Hong Kong and vocal opponent of Pope Francis’ rapprochement with China, Cardinal Joseph Zen, has been named this year’s winner of the Wei Jingsheng Chinese Democracy Champion Prize.

Cardinal Zen, known for being outspoken on issues regarding human rights, political freedom, and religious liberty, “has always firmly supported the Hong Kong democratic movement and strongly opposed communist interference in the missionary activities and religious freedom of the Church,” according to the Wei Jingsheng Foundation, which gives out the prize.

It said Cardinal Zen has not only spoken out against the erosion of civil liberties in Hong Kong over the years but has also supported its people in fighting for genuine universal suffrage.

This year he again called on everyone to support Hong Kong’s people in protesting against an extradition bill that would have allowed the sending of criminal suspects to mainland China, the award committee said.

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