Cardinal Zen Writes Way of Cross for Good Friday

Says Pope Wanted Presence of Chinese Catholics in Colosseum

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By Anita S. Bourdin

ROME, MARCH 13, 2008 (Zenit.org).- The voice of Chinese Christians will be heard through the Way of the Cross Benedict XVI will lead in the Colosseum this Good Friday.

That is because the Pope asked Cardinal Joseph Zen, the bishop of Hong Kong, to write the meditations for the traditional celebration.

Cardinal Zen told ZENIT that "preparing the meditations for the Way of the Cross in the Colosseum is a task that requires a lot of commitment, but I have not doubted in accepting it, because I understood immediately that with his invitation, the Holy Father wanted me to bring to the Colosseum the voice of the faithful in China."

"The Holy Father wants these brothers and sisters of ours to be spiritually present in the Colosseum, since they probably perpetuate in their flesh today -- more than we do -- the suffering of Christ," the cardinal added. "In their flesh, he is arrested, mistreated, ridiculed, condemned and crucified today."

Cardinal Zen explained a personal conversion that he experienced in preparing the Way of the Cross. He said that "during the writing of the meditations, I placed myself, at first, on the side of Jesus and my persecuted brothers, and I experienced sentiments that were not very Christian toward their persecutors."

"But," he continued, "at one point I realized that, because of my infidelities, I deserve rather to be part of the group of deserters, betrayers, of the persecutors. I hope that all of us experience this conversion."