04/07/2012 08:04

Cardinal Joseph Zen of Hong Kong in Rabaul on 7 July

Salesian Cardinal Joseph Zen, Archbishop emeritus of Hong Kong, China, will be in Rabaul on 7 July for the celebration of the 100th anniversary of the birth of Blessed Peter ToRot, Catechist and Martyr. He accepted to answer a few questions for Catholic Reporter ahead of his visit:

Card. Zen, what are your feelings as you travel to Papua New Guinea as Papal Envoy for the celebration of the 100th anniversary of the birth of Blessed Peter ToRot?

I feel very honored in receiving from the Holy Father the pleasant mission to bring His Blessing to this important celebration.

The Archdiocese of Rabaul is betting everything on family life as they celebrate the first Melanesian Blessed man, possibly a saint one day. How do you see the current situation of the family worldwide?

The Family is a basic constituent in the Divine plan for human happiness, but in the present moment is being threatened from many parts. In His speech to the Bishops of Papua New Guinea during their visit "ad limina" last month the Holy Father emphasized precisely this point.

China and the islands of South Pacific are probably two different worlds. But there are now a number of Chinese people working and trading here…

The Chinese are everywhere. This can create difficulties as well as opportunities. I hope with the good will and some planning you will be able to turn to good this phenomenon brought by the globalization.

We know that the Catholic Church in mainland China is divided and heavily controlled by the political power. How can we help in our little way?

I appreciate your concern for the situation of the Church in China. It is causing much sorrow and many worries to the Holy Father. I realize that there is not much exact information around, I hope to bring some to you during my short stay, so that you may be more strongly motivated in your prayers, which is undoubtedly the most useful thing you can do for those your far away brothers.

What will your message be to the youth of Papua New Guinea when you arrive this week?

As a son of Don Bosco I look forward to meeting the young people during this visit. Since this moment I want to tell them: You are the hope of your nation, you are the hope of the Church. Listen to the voice of your young and sincere heart, listen to the voice of Jesus, open your heart to Him. He is not going to take away anything, but is going to fill your heart with true happiness.

(Fr. Giorgio Licini PIME - CBC Communications 040712 – giorgiolicini@yahoo.com)