CATHOLIC NEWS OF THE WEEK . Sunday, 1 September 2019

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Thanks Cardinal Zen

HONG KONG (AsiaNews): Alex Chow Yong-kang, who was given a prison sentence on August 17 for his part in the civil disobedience movement of 2014, dubbed the Umbrella Movement, has thanked the former bishop of Hong Kong, Joseph Cardinal Zen Ze-kiun, for visiting him in prison.
Released on bail on November 7, Chow posted a letter to his two compatriots, Joshua Wang Chi-fung and Nathan Law Kwun-chung, who are also out on bail pending an appeal against their prison sentences that is scheduled to be heard in January next year.
Chow said in the letter that Cardinal Zen’s visit had encouraged him.
Chow had been planning to go to the United States of America to study this year at Berkley University and hoped he would have the chance to meet with the cardinal there, but noted he is especially happy to have had the opportunity while he was incarcerated in Pik Uk Prison.
Chow said that as much as himself, his fellow prisoners love the cardinal, especially for the moon cakes he sends to each one at the Lunar New Year.
Although he is now 85-years-old, Cardinal Zen continues his long time practice of visiting the prisons and each year takes up a collection to raise money to buy a moon cake for every prisoner in Hong Kong.
The cardinal’s secretary said that it costs around $120,000 to provide the moon cakes to the approximately 9,600 people in prison.
During October, Cardinal Zen visited those jailed for their part in an incident during the Umbrella Movement and spoke with them for around 30 minutes. “I was comforted,” the cardinal said, because they are young courageous and at peace.”
He added, “We exchanged some opinions on the situation in Hong Kong. They have been able to feel the support of society, because they have received so many letters from outside. It was not easy for them to withstand the past months. I hope they resist. This situation will certainly help them mature and become wiser.”
Cardinal Zen commented, “We have to ask ourselves what our main aim is? There is no victory. The only thing we can do is to prevent things from getting worse. The democratic camp needs to be united and to find new strategies. The authorities have already created a heap of damage.”

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