But he has privately admitted the last-chance effort will not stop the laws The head of the Catholic Church in Hong Kong will raise concerns over the proposed national security laws with senior officials in the Vatican when he visits Rome on a business trip early next month. But Bishop Joseph Zen Ze-kiun is not optimistic that any concrete results will emerge from his meeting with leading clerics in the Holy See. The bishop has voiced his criticism of the anti-subversion bill, which he fears will undermine freedom and civil liberties. Father Louis Ha Ke-loon, director of the Catholic Social Communication Office, confirmed that Bishop Zen was arranging a meeting with Cardinal Crescenzio Sepe, who heads the Holy See's Congregation for the Evangelisation of the People, to raise his long-standing concerns over the security bill proposals. Bishop Zen has long voiced his opposition to the bill to implement Article 23 of the Basic Law, which aims to ban acts of treason and subversion. He also is concerned that it will harm the church's links with Catholics on the mainland, where those who acknowledge the Pope's authority have been driven underground. But Father Ha said Bishop Zen had acknowledged this last-ditch attempt would probably achieve little, as the Vatican would not intervene at a diplomatic level. 'The bishop said that when he meets officials of the Holy See, he will definitely raise his concerns on Article 23. But he believes even the Holy See could not do much in the matter, and that it could only become more informed on the issue,' Father Ha said. Bishop Zen will arrive in Rome to attend an international church conference after he attends a ceremony in Germany on July 5. He will meet Cardinal Sepe, who oversees the church's affairs in the Asia-Pacific region, before returning to Hong Kong on July 11. It is understood Bishop Zen will not have a private audience with Pope John Paul II during the visit. A source close to the Vatican said although the Holy See was concerned with the national security bill, and although Bishop Zen's briefing would provide more firsthand information on the latest development, the Vatican was unlikely to make any public or direct intervention. It is understood the Hong Kong diocese has kept the Vatican informed of developments on the issue since the government announced its intention to legislate last September. But the lack of diplomatic relations between the Vatican and China has prevented the issue from being raised at a diplomatic level, and the Holy See would not normally intervene in what are considered the internal affairs of dioceses, which are under the jurisdiction of local bishops. Anthony Lam Sui-ki, a religious affairs analyst of the Holy Spirit Study Centre, said Bishop Zen's petitioning of the Vatican would have a positive effect in drawing more international attention to the controversy. 'But the government is not likely to change its mind just because of international pressure.' Pressures from the international community over the bill increased after a trip by Democratic Party legislator Martin Lee Chu-ming to the US this month.