Cardinal Joseph Zen says class boycott is necessary

Cardinal Joseph Zen says class boycott is necessary

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Joseph Zen (front) has been vocal in his support for democratic reform.
Joseph Zen (front) has been vocal in his support for democratic reform.
Photo: Dickson Lee/SCMP

The head of Hong Kong's Catholic Church said he will teach students who choose to take part in next week's class boycott.

Cardinal Joseph Zen Ze-kiun spoke about the proposed boycott for universal suffrage at a lecture at City University. The talk was held by the Hong Kong Federation of Catholic Students, local media reported. As a professor of theology and philosophy, Zen said, upon invitation, he'd be willing to teach students who are going to boycott classes next week.

"I'm not saying there's anything wrong with focusing on study, but it's now time to participate [in boycotting classes]," said Zen. He added that he was worried about the situation, "if we don't have a democratically elected chief executive here to protect our system".

He also said that the boycott is not for personal interest, but is something which could benefit society as a whole. He referred to the situation on the mainland, and reminded local students not to take religious freedom for granted.

Another speaker, lawmaker Dr Kenneth Chan Ka-lok, said students can influence their family and friends, and force everyone to think about society and the status quo. "I don't know if what I do will help," said Chan. "But I know that if I don't do anything, don't say anything, the situation will get worse and worse."

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This article appeared in the Young Post print edition as
Cardinal supports class boycott

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