- LIFE SITE NEWS - Jan 5, 2021 -
Patrick Delaney -
WASHINGTON, D.C., January 5, 2021 (LifeSiteNews) — In his recent “Proclamation on the 850th Anniversary of the Martyrdom of Saint Thomas Becket,” President Donald Trump not only paid tribute to this “lion of religious liberty,” but also offered special recognition to Cardinal Joseph Zen of Hong Kong for his “brave and inspiring” defense of Catholics suffering under Communist Chinese persecution.
The special proclamation links the 1170 murder of the English archbishop as a causal factor limiting the power of the state over the Church in the West, including by special provision in the Magna Carta of 1215 — an inspirational and juridical source of the U.S. Bill of Rights.
“Thomas Becket’s death serves as a powerful and timeless reminder to every American that our freedom from religious persecution is not a mere luxury or accident of history, but rather an essential element of our liberty,” Trump wrote. “It is our priceless treasure and inheritance. And it was bought with the blood of martyrs.”
“We pray for religious believers everywhere who suffer persecution for their faith. We especially pray for their brave and inspiring shepherds — like Cardinal Joseph Zen of Hong Kong and Pastor Wang Yi of Chengdu — who are tireless witnesses to hope,” he said.
Cardinal Zen is best known for his acute criticism of a 2018 Vatican secret agreement with China that provides the atheist Communist government a say in the appointment of bishops, among other concessions. Zen called the agreement an “incredible betrayal.”