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For Love of My People I Will Not Remain Silent, On the Situation of the Church in China


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By Joseph Cardinal Zen

The relationship of China with the greatest secular world power—the United States of America—and the most universal global spiritual power—the Catholic Church—is in a state of flux. President Trump and Pope Francis are major protagonists in this dramatic period. Although what is happening in China has an impact worldwide, it is hard for the non-specialist to grasp what is underway and its significance for the future.

There are two Catholic communities in China: the "underground", or unofficial, Church and the official, government-controlled Patriotic Church. Cardinal Joseph Zen is one of the most knowledgeable and credible witnesses to what is happening in China, especially on the relationship between these two communities. He is a courageous defender of the underground Church yet has intimate knowledge of the official Church, in part because hea taught in several of its seminaries.

It has been recognized—and Pope Francis himself has confirmed—that the historic 2007 letter of Pope Benedict XVI to Catholics in China remains the magna carta of the Church in that country. On the tenth anniversary of this letter, Cardinal Zen gave a series of eight lectures on its origin, drafting process, and final content, and these enlightening talks are presented in this book.

In these lectures, Cardinal Zen explains in detail what he considers is now threatening the fundamental principles of the letter—and therefore 'his people'. As the title indicates, for the love of his people, he will not remain silent.

"Cardinal Joseph Zen is one of the great witnesses of the twenty-first-century Church. His thoughts on the future of Catholicism in China should be taken with the utmost seriousness by anyone who cares about the New Evangelization in the spiritual desert of the world's largest country."
— George Weigel, Author, The Fragility of Order: Catholic Reflections on Turbulent Times

"Reading For Love of My People I Will Not Remain Silent prayerfully is an act of solidarity. We must listen to those who insist on Christ in the midst of totalitarianism, who choose him lovingly and courageously. Thank you, Cardinal Zen, for being a voice for God's faithful people in China."
Kathryn Jean Lopez, Senior Fellow, National Review Institute; Editor-at-Large, National Review

"Joseph Cardinal Zen, born in Shanghai and former seminary teacher in mainland China, offers rare insights into the past and present condition of China's suffering Church. In this timely book, Zen asserts that 'a terrifying scenario is unfolding' now in China."
— Anthony Clark, Ph.D., Professor of China's Catholic History, Whitworth University

"Cardinal Zen's unadorned eloquence reveals a patient silence "like a lamb before its shearers" (Is 53:7) during many years of suffering.  At the same time, as the prophet said, "For Jerusalem's sake I will not remain quiet " (Is 62:1), so does Cardinal Zen say for China."
— Fr. George Rutler, Author, Calm in Chaos: Catholic Wisdom for Anxious Times

"No one in the twenty-first century has offered better witness to the suffering of these underground Catholics than Cardinal Zen, who urges the Vatican to shun power-politic deals with the Communist state.  Let today's papacy follow instead the path of the "Lamb who appears weak'—the path followed faithfully for so many years by the martyred Church of China."
— David Pinault, Ph.D., Professor of Religious Studies, Santa Clara University; Author, The Crucifix on Mecca's Front Porch

Author Cardinal Joseph Zen, a native of China, served as the sixth Bishop of Hong Kong. He has been outspoken on issues regarding human rights, political freedom, and religious liberty, often attracting criticism from the Communist Party of China.

Paperback, 2019

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