Zen Ze-Kiun, Joseph

Cardinal Joseph Zen Ze-kiun, S.D.B., Bishop of Hong Kong (China), was born on January 13, 1932 in Yang King-pang, Shanghai, China. He was ordained a priest on February 11, 1961 for the Society of Don Bosco, the Salesian Order.

Cardinal Zen Ze-kiun served as a Salesian Provincial Superior for China for six years, and from 1989-96 he taught philosophy and sacramental theology in various Chinese seminaries.

On September 13, 1996 he was appointed Coadjutor of the diocese of Hong Kong, and on September 23, 2002 he was made Bishop of the diocese. He received episcopal ordination on 9 December 1996.

During the 11th Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops, he spoke on "Sensus ecclesiae and religious freedom", addressing the situation of the Church in China and of the signs of hope that the Church, after years of forced separation which had apparently "divided it in two", is a single Church headings towards a "normalization".

Cardinal Zen Ze-kiun has publicly stated that his appointment as a member of the College of Cardinals is a sign of the Holy Father’s concern and affection for all of China.

Created and proclaimed cardinal by Benedict XVI in the consistory of March 24, 2006, of the Title of Santa Maria Madre del Redentore a Tor Bella Monaca (St. Mary Mother of the Redeemer at Tor Bella Monaca).

Member of:

  • Congregations: for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments; for the Evangelization of Peoples;
  • XI Ordinary Council of the Secretariat General of the Synod of Bishops;
  • Special Council for Asia of the Secretariat General of the Synod of Bishops.


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