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HK Cardinal Urges Support for Democracy, July 1

( [email protected] ) Jun 18, 2007 02:54 PM EDT
The controversial cardinal of Hong Kong urged followers to demonstrate for universal suffrage on July 1st. With the approaching 10th anniversary of Hong Kong's reunification with China, Cardinal Joseph Zen asked for citizens to take to the street in support of democracy.
In this July 1, 2006 photo, 28,000 people participated in the annual march for democracy rally. Controversial Hong Kong Cardinal Joseph Zen urged the faithful to empathize with the poor in a diocese meeting, Wed.

The controversial cardinal of Hong Kong urged followers to demonstrate for universal suffrage on July 1st.

With the approaching 10th anniversary of Hong Kong's reunification with China, Cardinal Joseph Zen asked for citizens to take to the street in support of democracy.

At a Diocesan Justice and Peace Commission meeting yesterday, the cardinal said the situation of the underprivileged and the poor people has not been improving, but rather deteriorating, according to Vatican-affiliated AsianNews.

The cardinal, who openly advocated religious freedom in China, added that believers should empathize with 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 in the AsiaNews report.

"We are not Jesus. But we are honored to be able to walk with them, to share with their pains."

The march for democracy rally has been held since July 1, 2003, which attracted more than half a million people.

Last year, only 28,000 people participated in the rally.