In his Christmas pastoral letter, the apostolic administrator of Hong Kong reiterates the need to rebuild mutual trust between government, police and population. The cardinal's questions very close to those of the anti-extradition and pro-democracy movement.
Hong Kong (AsiaNews) - As Christmas approaches, Card. John Tong, apostolic administrator of the diocese, asks "everyone to stop the violence" that is shaking and dividing the territory of Hong Kong.
In his Christmas Message, he also asked that the government listen to the voice of the people and carry out "an independent investigation into several violent clashes between demonstrators and the police". Finally, he hopes that Hong Kong will always uphold "the basic values of democracy, freedom and the rule of law", seeking to reduce the gulf between the rich and the poor ".
Card. Tong's Christmas message was published yesterday in the Sunday Examiner, the weekly diocesan newspaper, although the message bears the date of December 12th.
Just yesterday, Chinese President Xi Jinping ended his visit to Macau, praising the former Portuguese colony while criticizing the situation in Hong Kong. In the recent past Xi praised the chief of executive Carrie Lam and the police's efforts to maintain order in the territory, censoring the request of a large part of the population for an independent investigation into the excessive use of force by the police.
Instead, Card. Tong, along with other Christian leaders, has long been calling for an independent investigation similar to the demands of the anti-extradition and pro-democracy movement for the past six months.
After an explanation of Christmas and the threefold coming of Christ (in Bethlehem, at the end of the world, in the life of the witnesses), the Letter urges the faithful to "read the Bible with devotion", to "take an active part in the Eucharist", to "lead a life of simplicity", living reconciliation and attention to the poor.
Recalling the social division and the suffering, which is also "emotional" and "pyscological" experienced by the population of Hong Kong, Card. Tong says: "With Christmas approaching, we earnestly make an appeal to all people to stop violence. We should give ourselves a cooling-off period for in-depth reflections on the impacts of our social turmoil and on the means to resolve the current impasse in a humane manner, with a view to restoring peace and healing people’s body, mind and spirit. "
"Once again - he adds - we urge the Sar (Special Administration Region) government to listen to the voice of the people and conduct an independent inquiry into several violent confrontations between the protesters and the police. Only when the truth is made known can the basis of mutual trust between the government and the people be re-established. It is then that we can pave the way for a dialogue of reconciliation”.
"We earnestly hope - concludes the message - earnestly hope that Hong Kong, our beloved city, will always uphold the core values of democracy, freedom and the rule of law, and that the gap between the rich and the poor will be narrowed as soon as possible, conflicts will be resolved, and justice and peace will prevail."