Cardinal Joseph Zen appeared in court in Hong Kong yesterday, which was also the World Day of Prayer for the Church in China. Source: CNA.
The 90-year-old former Catholic bishop of Hong Kong was charged with four other prominent democracy advocates who were all trustees of the 612 Humanitarian Relief Fund, which helped pro-democracy protesters to pay their legal fees.
He was arrested by authorities on May 11 and was released on bail later on the same day.
All five yesterday entered a plea of not guilty to the charge of failing to register the humanitarian fund with the police, according to AFP.
For a first conviction, this charge can reportedly incur a fine but likely will not fall under Hong Kong’s national security law.
The date set for Cardinal Zen’s trial is September 19.
Fr Joseph Chan, Hong Kong’s vicar general, was present in the courtroom, but the cleric told AFP that he was not there as a representative of the diocese.
Cardinal Zen also celebrated a Mass to pray for China last night, the feast of Our Lady Help of Christians. In 2007, Pope Benedict XVI proclaimed the Marian feast as the annual World Day of Prayer for the Church in China.
Cardinal Zen appears in court in Hong Kong (By Courtney Mares, CNA)
Elderly Hong Kong cardinal in court over protest defence fund (The Australian)
Beijing clamps down on Christian proclamation (The Tablet)