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A 90-Year-Old Cardinal Is On Trial In Hong Kong For Running A Protest Fund

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Old Cardinal

Old Cardinal

Cardinal Joseph Zen, a 90-year-old Catholic priest regarded as one of Asia’s highest-ranking, is currently on trial with five others for their roles in the running of a fund for defending those imprisoned by authorities during anti-government rallies in Hong Kong. The “612 Humanitarian Relief Fund” was established to handle the finances required to defend pro-democracy activists. It was dismantled, however, after the Cardinal was imprisoned.

The cardinal was arrested early this year in compliance with the Beijing-backed government’s national security statute. According to media sources, he was accused of “colluding with foreign powers,” an allegation that has sparked outrage among senior clerics. He has not, however, been officially charged with the crime. “This cardinal will be slaughtered on the altar of reason in order to protect and implement the diplomatic deal with Beijing,” Mueller said in an interview with the Italian newspaper Il Messaggero. In the last year, a number of pro-democracy activists have been put on trial in an attempt to silence criticism, and several analysts have suggested that this trial may be part of the same approach.

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