» 12/24/2012 10:52 HONG KONG Card. Tong’s Christmas message: universal suffrage and defense of the family The cardinal seeks greater government support in social housing, health care, pensions, education. Emphasizes the family as a unit between a man and a woman, open to procreation, to counter the demographic crisis of the territory and attempts to legalize gay marriage. This year the Church in Hong Kong has welcomed 3,500 new members.
Hong Kong (AsiaNews) - In his
Christmas message to the Diocese of Hong Kong, Card. John
Tong has reiterated the request of the Catholic Church for universal
suffrage for the territory in electing the chief executive and
the same time, he has stressed the importance of policies that help families in
dealing with the economic and cultural crisis. The
cardinal asks for greater support for housing, education and pensions and
reiterates the importance of understanding the family as a unit of a man and
woman, "directed toward the procreation and raising of children."
Bishop of Hong Kong, remembers with joy the vibrancy of local communities, which
this year received 3,500 new members who were baptized at Easter.
discrete courage, the cardinal said he had conferred twice with the Government
of Hong Kong, in February and September, presenting the requests of the
calling for an implementation of universal suffrage in the election of the
Chief Executive and of the legislature - the statement reads - we urged the
authorities to improve current policies on housing, health care, education and
retirement security ".
Neither Britain at the time
of the colony, nor China after 1997 have ever guaranteed the people of Hong
Kong the opportunity to directly elect their leaders and parliamentarians. Even
today, the chief executive is chosen by an ad hoc committee, and only half of
the Parliament is elected by popular ballot. China has long ruled out universal
suffrage for Hong Kong at least postponing it until after 2017.
In his talks with the
government, the Cardinal points out that he also spoke of "stable marriage
and harmonious family life are prerequisites to safeguarding the well-being of
Recalling the Catechism of
the Catholic Church, the Cardinal reaffirms that the family is composed of a
"mutual self-giving and lifelong commitment between a man and a woman". "While
marriage is intended for the benefit of husband and wife, it is also directed
towards the procreation and upbringing of children "
cardinal's underscoring this is urgent because Hong Kong is suffering from a
strong demographic crisis. At
the same time, in recent weeks some groups have started to push the government
for legislation to recognize gay marriage.