On the eve of the 20th anniversary of the 1989 Tianmanmen killings,
retired Hong Kong Cardinal Joseph Zen has urged China to reassess its
verdict on the events of that period.
Cardinal Zen said he wanted an official inquiry into what happened so future generations could tell the difference between right and wrong, BBC News reports.
In a talk at Hong Kong's Foreign Correspondents' Club, the cardinal said he wanted to see an official re-examination of the bloody crackdown of 20 years ago this week.
"I hope they really consider seriously the possibility of a reassessment of the verdict," Mr Zen said.
"It will not damage anyone, but would be to the advantage of the whole nation," he said.
China's official line on the Tiananmen massacre, in which hundreds, possibly thousands, of demonstrators and civilians were killed, is that the protests threatened Communist Party rule and had to be quelled.
Asked by AFP news agency when or if he thought the Chinese government would soften its stance, Mr Zen said: "Things in China are unpredictable. It may happen tomorrow or still take 20 years.
A strong advocate of democracy, Cardinal Zen usually opens the June 4 candlelight vigil in Hong Kong, held every year to mark the massacre.
This year he will be in Rome, but held a special mass for victims last Friday.
Regarding the church in China, Cardinal Zen said that while China hasn't ordained a bishop without the Vatican's approval since 2006, it held a celebration in December marking the 50th anniversary of the state-backed Chinese church's first bishop appointment, PR Inside reports.
Bishops made speeches in support of a Chinese church independent of the Vatican, he said.
"This surely is unacceptable," Zen said, noting that Pope Benedict XVI considered the celebration a "provocation".
HK cardinal criticises Beijing (BBC News)
Catholic leader urges China to re-examine Tiananmen massacre (EarthTimes)
Cardinal: Beijing still controlling Chinese church (PR Inside)