Cardinal Kung Still Seen as Example 10 Years Later


  • Category:

HONG KONG, MARCH 15, 2010 ( The retired bishop of Hong Kong pointed to the example of Cardinal Ignatius Kung Pin-mei, saying he is still a model for China's bishops 10 years after his death.

Cardinal Joseph Zen Ze-kiun offered a memorial Mass on Friday in memory of Cardinal Kung. The cardinal, who was the bishop of Shanghai, died March 12, 2000, in the United States. About 40 people attended the Mass in the Salesian chapel, some of them Shanghai natives.

Cardinal Zen proposed the late cardinal as a model for those Chinese bishops now facing temptations.

"Almost all of the Chinese bishops from the open communities have been recognized by the Pope ... but some of them have not returned, and some of them have even declared their support for an independent and self-governed church," Cardinal Zen reflected. "Some of them are struggling, are hesitating, under temptations and pressure."

While recognizing that these bishops cannot be judged or criticized and acknowledging that "we have not lived their difficulties," the cardinal encouraged prayer for the Chinese bishops, that they "might follow the model of Cardinal Kung."

Cardinal Kung died in Stamford, Connecticut, at the age of 98. He suffered more than 30 years of imprisonment in China for his fidelity to the Pope.

In 1988, the Chinese government allowed him to travel to the United States for medical treatment; he had been paroled and placed under house arrest in 1985, at the age of 86.

The cardinal stayed in the States with his nephew until his death.

Pope John Paul II secretly named him a cardinal in 1979, while he was still in prison.