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Young Catholics in Hong Kong are taking to Facebook to support Cardinal Joseph Zen Ze-kiun, days after the city's sixth bishop blasted the Vatican for preparing to "surrender" to the Chinese Communist Party amid speculation of an agreement between the two sides on clerical appointments.
Legions of social media users in the semi-autonomous region are now changing their profile pictures to show their support for the retired cardinal.
Image - Hong - Kong - Designer - Name
The framed image was created by a Hong Kong designer with the Christian name Dominic. It features a yellow wave at the bottom with five Chinese characters superimposed on it. Facebook users can then add any other image on top of this, for example a photo of Cardinal Zen, a cartoon anime — or as is proving most popular, their own face.
"Seeing so many Catholics support 'grandpa' spontaneously, I decided to make this Facebook profile picture frame for them to use," the 38-year-old told ucanews.com, using an affectionate local moniker for the cardinal, who was named cardinal in 2006 and his term ended in 2009.
Letters - Phrase - Zen - Character - Left
The five Chinese letters spell out the phrase "We support Cardinal Zen." The second character from the left implicitly identifies him as a martyr by showing Jesus on a crucifix through its use of red-and-white coloring.
This image "represents all of the clergymen who are suffering on the Chinese mainland," Dominic said.
Wave - Evokes - Vatican - Flag - Blog
The yellow wave evokes both the Vatican flag and blog posts by Cardinal Zen in which he refers to the church's troubles in China as a storm to be weathered.
"We are unafraid of the storm because we believe in God," he wrote.
Christianity - Inroads - China - Tang - Dynasty
Christianity has made inroads in China since the Tang Dynasty in the 8th century but missionaries were expelled when the communists rose to power in 1949.
In recent decades the two have formed something of an uneasy truce despite Beijing...
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