Pope Francis said he is praying for the Church in China and “attentively and actively following the often-complex life and situations of the faithful and pastors” there. Source: CNA.
In brief remarks to pilgrims gathered in St Peter’s Square for the Regina Caeli prayer yesterday, the Pope did not specifically mention the recent arrest of Cardinal Joseph Zen in Hong Kong.
The 90-year-old former bishop of Hong Kong was arrested on May 11 under China’s national security law with at least four others for his role as a trustee of the 612 Humanitarian Relief Fund, which helped pro-democracy protesters in Hong Kong pay their legal fees. He was released on bail later that day.
Pope Francis did draw special attention to the fact that Tuesday, May 24 – when Cardinal Zen is reportedly due back in court – is the liturgical memorial of Our Lady, Help of Christians. Francis’ predecessor Pope Benedict XVI decreed in 2007 that the date be observed worldwide as “a day of prayer for the Church in China.”
“This coming Tuesday is the Memorial of the Blessed Virgin, Mary Help of Christians, particularly dear to Catholics in China who venerate Mary, Help of Christians as their Patroness in the Shrine of Sheshan in Shanghai, in many churches throughout the country, and in their homes,” Pope Francis said.
“This happy occasion offers me the opportunity to assure them once again of my spiritual closeness. I am attentively and actively following the often-omplex life and situations of the faithful and pastors, and I pray every day for them,” he said.
Pope expresses closeness to pastors and faithful in China (Vatican News)