Joseph Zen Ze-Kiun, S.D.B. (Salesian) [dob: January 13, 1932], created in March 2006, was Bishop of Hong Kong from September 2002 to April 2009 — when he retired at 77 (per the nominal 75-year retirement rule).
The Hong Kong Catholic Diocese has been involved in a long-term legal struggle to get an exemption from China’s Education Ordinance that permits ‘outsiders’ [e.g., parents, teachers and past students] to participate in the management committees of Catholic schools. Last Friday, the Court of Final Appeal rejected the Diocese’s objection to bar ‘outsiders.’
So, Zen Ze-Kiun has gone on a 72-hour hunger strike in protest.
When I first read the headline there was no mention of the 72-hour limit. When I saw that I had to laugh. 3 whole days. When I was growing up in Ceylon, politicians trying to follow in the hallowed footsteps of the Indian freedom fighters, would go on hunger strikes. But, never with a preset time limit and especially nothing as absurd as 3 days. At least one of Gandhi’s hunger strikes was 21 days! [For nearly a fifteen, every month, around the 22nd of the month, I would fast, just wine, coffee and water, for 32 to 36 hours, to mark the passing of my mother.] So, all told, I am not impressed. I also think what he is protesting about his hollow and inane.