Hong Kong (AsiaNews) - Auxiliary Bishop Thaddeus Ma Daqin of Shanghai, who is confined at Sheshan seminary, offered his blessings on Aug. 31 for the three new auxiliary bishops of Hong Kong ordained the previous day.
The new auxiliary bishops are Shanghai-born Michael Yeung Ming-cheung, 68; Stephen Lee Bun-sang, Opus Dei, 58; and Joseph Ha Chi-shing, 55, a Franciscan. Both Lee and Ha were born in Hong Kong.
They were ordained by Cardinal John Tong, bishop of Hong Kong, on Aug. 30 at the Cathedral of Immaculate Conception in Hong Kong.
Cardinal Joseph Zen, Archbishop Savio Hon and other bishops from Macau, Taiwan, Japan, South Korea, Essen (Germany) and San Francisco (US) co-ordained. More than 200 priests from Hong Kong, overseas and mainland China concelebrated.
Bishop Thaddeus Ma, in his weibo (miniblog) on Aug. 31, offered his prayers for the three new bishops. He asked "the almighty God to bless them, and under the leadership of Cardinal Tong the new bishops will serve in charity, help pastoral work and evangelization work to grow, and bring blessings to Hong Kong". Bishop Ma also "wished peace in Hong Kong and peace in their motherland China".
In his homily, Cardinal Tong said today's society is "full of confusion, a sense of moral values. Ours a bewildering time. As a pastor, I feel the urgent need for more priests to care for the more than 500,000 Catholics in our diocese."
Cardinal Tong, who reached the age of 75 on this past July 31, advised the new bishops and all faithful to pray constantly and to live according to Gospel values and the teaching of the Church, when facing challenges and worries in life.
He re-affirmed his pastoral priorities of evangelization, priestly vocations, pastoral care for foreigners, and taking up the mission and responsibilities of Bridge Church by promoting contacts between the China Church and the Universal Church.
Cardinal Tong also recalled his own episcopal ordination, together with Cardinal Zen, at the same place in 1996, 18 years ago.
More than 2,000 faithful attended the Mass at the cathedral compound, but many more watched through live broadcast on the Internet in and outside Hong Kong.