The Hong Kong Catholic Church might fall foul of controversial national security laws if a cardinal is assigned to head both the Hong Kong and mainland church, legislators warned yesterday. It was suggested that proposed legislation to create a procedure banning organisations subordinate to those outlawed on the mainland on security grounds could come into play in such circumstances. Under the draft legislation, if a local organisation is attempting to commit treason, secession, subversion, sedition or spying, or is subordinate to a mainland organisation banned on security grounds, the security secretary may ban it. In reply, Secretary for Security Regina Ip Lau Suk-yee said: 'Hong Kong's church is very large, the problem of it being subordinate to a mainland church doesn't exist.' But Democratic Party legislator Martin Lee Chu-ming, a Catholic, queried the meaning of subordinate. The Vatican's relations with the mainland were severed in 1957.