Hong Kong (AsiaNews / SE) - The day on which the Pope bestowed the cardinal's hat on Msgr. John Tong, the newspaper of the Diocese of Hong Kong published two messages, one to the faithful, one to the city government. In them the newly created cardinal calls on Catholics to witness to the faith and the gifts received through generosity, patience, forgiveness and prayer. In the message addressed to the government and the political authorities, Card. Tong underlines the need for full democracy for the country, with universal suffrage and direct election of the Chief Executive, in addition to policies that care for the most vulnerable in society.
Both messages are published in the Sunday Examiner on 18 February.
The one addressed to the faithful is the bishop's Lenten message, his first as cardinal. After recalling all the gifts received from God (family, health, faith, friends, opportunities ...), Card. Tong asks the faithful to share these gifts with the people they meet in everyday life: " We should look for opportunities to help others with our time and money, especially the weak and marginalised in our society. There are many social agencies doing good work in the city and they are highly appreciative of all donations. Giving of our time to visit the sick, housebound friends, people of advanced age or the orphaned are also ways of showing gratitude".
The bishop of Hong Kong stresses that you must take care not only of " the material needs of others, but also their rights and freedom as children of God. This is inseparable from our faith and spirituality".
It is worth mentioning that the diocese of Hong Kong is the most attentive to religious freedom and free speech in China and has launched several campaigns to free bishops and priests in prison, as well as the Nobel Laureate Liu Xiaobo.
The second message is the diocese' "expectations" of the new government of Hong Kong. On March 25 a new governor we be elected by 800 representatives of the guilds of the city, as well as individuals co-opted by the government (and China).
The text signed by "The diocese of Hong Kong", reaffirms the need for the election of the Chief Executive, and other elections according to universal suffrage, within a democratic structure that neither Great Britain in the past, nor the China in the present wants to give to Hong Kong.
In the message the government is asked to take the situation of the population more to heart especially regards housing, medical care, education and pensions. In all these years of increasingly rampant liberalism, the government has chosen a path of non-interference in the economy. The conclusion is that buying a home for young couples has become "a dream"; care for disabled and infirm is seriously "insufficient", the majority of the population does not have any pension, education has become a luxury.
"Every government - says the message - has a specific duty to harmonize the different sectoral interests according to the demands of justice."