Stamford, Connecticut, U.S.A. - In thanksgiving for the life and ministry of the late Cardinal Kung on the 10th Anniversary of his death, a memorial Mass will be held at the Basilica of St. John the Evangelist, 279 Atlantic Street, Stamford, Connecticut at 12 noon on Saturday March 6, 2010. Bishop William Lori, Bishop of Bridgeport, will be the main celebrant.
Cardinal Kung was the Pope-appointed Roman Catholic Bishop of Shanghai from 1950 until his death in 2000. He never retired or resigned from his episcopacy of Shanghai. The world press reported the horrific news of his arrest in Shanghai on September 8, 1955 together with more than 200 clergy and faithful in a one-midnight operation by the Chinese authority. He was then sentenced to life imprisonment and jailed for 32.5 years for his Roman Catholic faith and for his refusal to be independent of the Pope, but ostensibly for his "counter-revolutionary activities" officially charged by the Chinese government. When the Cardinal was released from prison on "parole" in July, 1985, the New York Times wrote: "…the ambiguous wording (of the Higher People's Court) and the absence…of any direct statement…by the Bishop suggested that the authorities, not the Bishop, might have relented." Cardinal Kung was released from Chinese custody for his "parole" in January 1988 at the age of 87, after, and partly due to, 19 Senators and 24 Congresspersons of the United States appealed directly to the late Premier Zhao ZiYang of the Chinese government for his release in their two joint letters, both dated in December 1987 - one month before his release.
Cardinal Kung was made a Cardinal by Pope John Paul II in pectore in 1979 when he was still in a Chinese prison, and was proclaimed publicly a Cardinal by the Pope in 1991 after his safe arrival in the United States. When Cardinal Kung died ten years ago in Stamford at the age of 98, the Pope called him the "noble son of China and of the Church" and sent Cardinal Stafford from the Vatican as the Pope's personal envoy and representative to officiate Cardinal Kung's funeral.
For more details on the Cardinal, please read this article on our website. For his obituary in the Wall Street Journal, please follow this link. To read the Cardinal's obituary in the New York Times, please click here. If you are interested in seeing photographs of the Cardinal, please go to our photo gallery.
Joseph Kung, the president of the Cardinal Kung, said: "I wish to personally invite the public to join with us at this memorial Mass to pray together for worldwide religious freedom, especially for the Roman Catholic Church in China. Together, we will also pray that, in his mercy for China, God will permit the Cardinal to intercede for us so that he may one day be raised to the honor of Blessed."