06/18/2007, 00.00
HONG KONG
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Card. Zen encourages faithful to demonstrate for democracy on July 1st

by Kevin Wang
After ten years from the Hong Kong’s reunification with its motherland – China, bishop Zen encouraged the faithful to go out into the streets to appeal for universal suffrage. An invite to be near to the poor people.

Hong Kong (AsiaNews) - As Hong Kong is going to mark the 10th anniversary of its reunification with its motherland - China,  Cardinal Joseph Zen encouraged the faithful to appeal for universal suffrage joining a big demonstration on July 1st

During a meeting hosted by the Diocesan Justice and Peace Commission on June 17, Cardinal Zen said that 10 years after Hong Kong's reunification, the situation of the underprivileged and the poor people has not been improving, but rather deteriorating. The Cardinal encouraged the faithful to go out into the streets this July 1, to express their desire for a universal suffrage.

At the diocesan meeting, the Cardinal re-iterated the church commitment to the poor. "The poor people – he said - should be our master. [But] we are not Jesus, it is a little bit shameful.  As of the Bishop of Hong Kong, [I work] at a air-conditioned room, with four dishes every meal, drinking red wine, wearing a watch valued several thousands [Hong Kong] dollars," the Cardinal said. "We are not Jesus. But we are honored to be able to walk with them, to share with their pains."

A day earlier, the six religious leaders in Hong Kong - from Buddhist, Catholic, Confucian, Muslim, Protestant and Taoist - celebrated the 10the anniversary of Hong Kong's reunification to China. On that occasion, Cardinal Zen prayed for the freedom and equality in the society, and eliminating the poverty in the society.

The march for democracy has been a tradition since 1 July 2003, when more than half a million people took to the streets to protest a proposed anti-subversion law and to criticize the failings of the first governor picked by China, shipowner, Tung Chee-hwa.

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