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Hong Kong allows Cardinal Zen to attend Benedict’s funeral

Hong Kong’s outspoken Roman Catholic Cardinal Joseph Zen was allowed to leave the southern Chinese city to pay his respects to the late Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI in Vatican City, his secretary said Tuesday.

Zen, a 90-year-old retired bishop, will attend the funeral Mass, led by Pope Francis, at St. Peter’s Square on Thursday and return to Hong Kong on Saturday, the secretary said.

Zen was elevated to cardinal by Benedict in 2006, which he said signalled the pope’s focus on China.

In recent years, the democracy advocate has been sharply at odds with Francis over the Vatican’s agreement with Chinese authorities on the appointment of bishops. Zen contends the deal betrays pro-Vatican Catholics in China and the clergy who have suffered persecution there.

He appeared in court Tuesday to apply for a leave from the city, his secretary said. His passport had been confiscated by authorities after his controversial arrest in 2022.

Source: The Washington Post

Photo: Szalé

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