21 April, 2014 AsiaNews.it Twitter AsiaNews.it Facebook            

Help AsiaNews | About us | P.I.M.E. | | RssNewsletter





mediazioni e arbitrati, risoluzione alternativa delle controversie e servizi di mediazione e arbitrato
e-mail this to a friend printable version


» 03/07/2012 14:41
HONG KONG - CHINA
Card Tong: Pray for China-Vatican dialogue and for our role as a bridge-church
by Annie Lam*
The newly created cardinal outlines his commitment to the Church in China and Hong Kong society. The dialogue between China and the Holy See would be good for both: full freedom for the Church; would increase China’s standing in the international community. Commitment to the weak and the marginalized and acceptance of non-Chinese Catholics.

Hong Kong (AsiaNews) - Newly created Card. John Tong of Hong Kong has reiterated the "Bridge-church" role of the diocese of Hong Kong and has asked the faithful to pray for the reopening of China-Vatican dialogue.

The 72-year-old cardinal told his faithful that the concern for the Church in China is one of his four pastoral concerns. The other three are: evangelization, vocation promotion to the priesthood and religious life, and caring for the non-Chinese Catholics in the diocese.

Taking up the role of "Bridge Church", the local Church is helping the mainland Church to have better formation, reconcile among themselves and achieve full communion with the Holy Father and the Universal Church, the Hong Kong-born prelate noted.

The local Church will promote this mission for the Church in China "in a prudent and discreet manner", he told hundreds of Catholics, including mainland Chinese, who packed the cathedral here at a Mass on March 3 that celebrated his elevation to the College of Cardinals on Feb. 18.

Cardinal Joseph Zen, emeritus bishop of Hong Kong, Archbishop John Hung Shan-chuan of Taipei, Bishop Jose Lai of Macau, officials from the Holy See and local priests from the diocese concelebrated. Pastors from the other Christian Churches in Hong Kong also participated in the liturgy.

Cardinal Tong recalled in 1986, Blessed Pope John Paul II decided to send envoys to negotiate with the Chinese government with vigor and patience, but this dialogue was halted once due to the Canonization of Chinese Martyrs in 2000. Now, the dialogue is again disrupted due to the two illicit episcopal ordinations in 2011, which had forced the Holy See to declare the excommunication of the two clerics involved in accordance with Canon Law. "We have to look forward to the future. Only with an open and sincere dialogue can the problems be solved and a win-win result be achieved," he said.

The cardinal called for prayers for "the reopening of the China-Vatican dialogue" and for "the graces bestowed upon the excommunicated, so that their early repentance could bring reconciliation in our Church and thus the wounds of our Church could be healed."

On March 2, he told the press that he had recently expressed to the Chinese officials the importance of exchange and dialogue. China is moving toward a greater economic freedom, but its religious policy is still strict, and he is optimistic for China to improve religious freedom, he said.

However, he is confident that "if Catholics in China were to enjoy full freedom of religious belief and activities, they would not only be able to contribute more fruitfully to the well-being of society, but would also earn for their Motherland a higher reputation in the international community."

Regarding his elevation, Cardinal Tong said, "I feel inadequate yet grateful" and the appointment is both "an honor and a responsibility". He said the diocese is committed "to establish a society respecting human dignity, with special care for the weak and the marginalized", as shown in the diocese's public statement issued on Feb. 19 (see here). This also expressed hope for the democratic development and social policies of the next government of Hong Kong.

On evangelization, he said both "quantity" of believers and "quality" of faith are important as the Church will prepare the local Catholics to better serve society and the Church.

Each year, there are more than 6 thousand baptisms, with half being adult baptisms. The population of Catholics in Hong Kong numbers 540 thousand, including 180 thousand non-Chinese Catholics.

The cardinal also encouraged all parishes to have at least one English Mass on Sundays to accommodate more non-Chinese Catholics.

 * Annie Lam is a member of Holy Spirit Study Centre in Hong Kong.


e-mail this to a friend printable version

See also
12/06/2006 HONG KONG – CHINA – VIETNAM
Card. Zen: “Beijing should learn from Vietnam and be open to religious freedom”
07/29/2006 HONG KONG – CHINA
Hong Kong bishop: "Positive situation, ordinations should stop"
02/17/2012 VATICAN - CHINA-HONG KONG
Bishop John Tong, a new cardinal for Hong Kong and China
by Bernardo Cervellera
01/06/2012 HONG KONG - CHINA - VATICAN
Cardinal-designate John Tong: a confirmation of HK’s role as "bridge" between Beijing & Vatican
by Annie Lam
04/30/2009 HONG KONG - CHINA - VATICAN
Bishop John Tong of Hong Kong, "man of dialogue," but with "non-negotiable principles"
by Gianni Criveller

Editor's choices
ITALY - ASIA
Easter, victory over death and impotence
by Bernardo Cervellera
SYRIA
I will miss you Fr Frans, you inspired us all, says Syrian Jesuit
by Tony Homsy*A young priest from the Society of Jesus remembers the life and work of Fr Frans van der Lugt, who was killed in Homs after he refused to abandon residents beleaguered by hunger and war. "He gave and continues to give everything for the Church, Syria, and peace. His story and qualities made him an exceptional missionary and witness to the Gospel." Reprinted courtesy of 'The Jesuit Post'.
FRANCE - IRAQ
Chaldean Patriarch on the uncertain future of eastern Christians, a bridge between the West and Islam
by Mar Louis Raphael I SakoThe wars in Iraq, Libya and Afghanistan have made things worse for their peoples, especially minorities. As Western policies have been a failure, fundamentalism has grown with the Arab Spring losing out to extremism. Muslim authorities have a role in protecting rights and religious freedom. The presence of Christians in the Middle East is crucial for Muslims.

Dossier
by Giulio Aleni / (a cura di) Gianni Criveller
pp. 176
by Lazzarotto Angelo S.
pp. 528
by Bernardo Cervellera
pp. 240
Copyright © 2003 AsiaNews C.F. 00889190153 All rights reserved. Content on this site is made available for personal, non-commercial use only. You may not reproduce, republish, sell or otherwise distribute the content or any modified or altered versions of it without the express written permission of the editor. Photos on AsiaNews.it are largely taken from the internet and thus considered to be in the public domain. Anyone contrary to their publication need only contact the editorial office which will immediately proceed to remove the photos.