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Cardinal Zen’s Audience With Pope Francis

by | Thu, Jan 12 2023

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90-year-old Hong Kong Cardinal Joseph Zen has met Pope Francis at the Vatican.

Cardinal Joseph Zen who’s one of Asia’s highest-ranking Catholics was given special permission to attend the funeral of Pope Benedict despite being arrested last year under Hong Kong’s national security laws.

Cardinal Zen told the Jesuit magazine America that the meeting was “wonderful” and that “Pope Francis was very warm.”

It was a sign of a healing of their differences over the Church’s role in China.

Cardinal Zen has been a leading critic of the Vatican’s secretive deal with Beijing.

It allows China to choose bishops on the mainland and then have Rome approve them.

The Hong Kong cardinal accused the Vatican of not doing enough to support China’s underground Catholic community.

He praised Pope Benedict as a “great defender of the truth” who took “extraordinary” actions to support the Church in China.

Cardinal Zen has not yet been formally charged with any national security-related crimes in Hong Kong.