William McGurn, a longtime The Wall Street Journal editorial columnist, a member of The Wall Street Journal editorial board, and a life-long Catholic, is also the godfather of now-imprisoned Hong Kong freedom activist and businessman, Jimmy Lai. Lai launched and ran the enormously popular news outlet, Apple Daily, which is now defunct due to the Chinese Communist Party ‘s (CCP) hard-line, forceful and even violent suppression of freedom of speech, news, worship and more.
Lai escaped from Communist China as a teen, finding refuge in then-free Hong Kong. He quickly found low-skill labor work and poured himself into adjusting to a life of freedom in Hong Kong. In all of his 70-plus years, he never stopped appreciating and expressing gratitude for this freedom.
Not only did Lai eventually launch a highly successful clothing line of his own, after selling that company he launched the news outlet Apple Daily.
Lai inspired many. He employed many. His was the ultimate rags-to-riches success story.
He eventually embraced the Catholic faith with joy, profound gratitude and with a relentless, eager, committed pursuit to deepening his faith through prayer and study, ever-learning, reading.
Lai sees the reality of the Chinese Catholic situation clearly
Lai knows communism firsthand. He knows freedom firsthand. And now he fully embraces spiritual freedom in Christ’s Church.
Lai knows firsthand how deeply and seriously Chinese Catholics embrace their faith. He knows firsthand how the Chinese in communist China must live their Catholic faith in hidden ways or face painful government wrath and punishment.
It doesn’t make sense
So several years ago, when Pope Francis entered into an arrangement with communist China to jointly choose Catholic bishops in China and other matters—the full details of this arrangement have never been disclosed—Lai raised serious and clear-thinking objections and concerns.
Cardinal Joseph Zen, former Bishop of Hong Kong, strongly agreed.
Lai saw clearly that things that didn’t add up. It didn’t make sense. He knows firsthand the hunger of China’s people for deeper meaning and purpose; for the true and full Faith embodied in the Catholic Church.
Here is a short video clip of a candid interview with Lai by his godfather, William McGurn, at the Napa Institute in California, not long before Lai’s arrest and imprisonment in now-communist Hong Kong.
A 5-minute video clip of Lai’s clear thinking was posted in The Wall Street Journal recently as part of William McGurn’s latest column — a worthy watch and read.