11/08/2015, 00.00
HONG KONG – VATICAN

For Card Tong, viewing “gay marriage” as equality and opposition to discrimination undermines marriage and the family

The bishop of Hong Kong defends marriage and family against a libertarian attempt to equate gay marriages to marriage between a man and a woman. Sex workers use sex toys and perform erotic massages in Workshop on lovemaking techniques at a local university. In upcoming election, bishop calls on the faithful to take into account candidates’ views on such matters.

Hong Kong (AsiaNews) – "Under the guise of equality and the fight against discrimination" legislation is being pushed in Hong Kong to recognise same-sex marriage. This undermines the foundations of society, said Card John Tong Hon in a statement issued last Thursday (5 November). In it, he calls on all Catholic parishes and associations to bear witness to “the constant Catholic teaching on marriage and the family,” which the Synod on the family reiterated last month.

Criticised yesterday during Hong Kong’s Gay Pride parade, the cardinal called on all the faithful to choose the right candidates in the city’s District Council elections on 22 November, by taking into account their views on gay marriage.

Here is the cardinal’s statement.

To: Parish Priests, Assistant Parish Priests, Pastoral Workers and Members of Parish Councils / Parish Pastoral Councils:

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

In recent years, social trends and political movements, such as extreme libertarian attitudes, individualism, the “Sex Liberation Movement” and the “Gay Movement”, under the guise of equality and the fight against discrimination, have all along been advocating the enactment of a Sexual Orientation Discrimination Ordinance in Hong Kong and the recognition of same-sex marriages. Thereby, the core values and key concepts of marriage and of the family are continually being challenged and misinterpreted, so that the very foundation of society is being undermined. In view of the current critical situation, I urge our parishes to play an active role as the “salt in earth” and the “light of the world”, by promptly making an urgent announcement on my behalf, as follows:

The announcement comes in two formats.  

The first is for Parish Newsletters/Bulletins, Notice Board, social media, etc.

Since Vatican II, the Church has persistently given importance to the divine institutions of marriage and the family as the foundation of society. My Pastoral Letter, entitled Human Ecology and The Family: Strengthen Marriage; not Redefine It!, made public at the end of September of this year, as well as the 14th Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops just concluded, have both reconfirmed the constant Catholic teaching on marriage and the family.

Regrettably, in recent years social trends and political movements, such as extreme libertarian attitudes, individualism, the “Sex Liberation Movement” and the “Gay Movement”, under the guise of equality and the fight against discrimination, have all along been advocating the enactment of a Sexual Orientation Discrimination Ordinance and the recognition of same-sex marriages. Thereby, the core values and key concepts of marriage and of the family are continually being challenged and misinterpreted, so that the very foundation of society is being undermined.

One instance of the foregoing trend is the USA Supreme Court ruling last June, which imposed the recognition of same-sex marriages on all the 50 States of that country, including those States, which through a democratic voting system have previously voted against the recognition of same-sex marriages.

Another instance is a so-called “Workshop on Love-making Techniques” recently held by a so-called Christian students’ organization at one of our local universities, whose programme included a demonstration by sex workers of the use of sex toys and erotic massage.

It is evident, therefore, that the virtual propagation of sexual liberalization under the umbrella of academic freedom, as a misguided culture, is no longer implicitly, but publicly and, so to say, pompously, intruding on our daily life and directly affecting our next generation.

This social trend could even go one step further by enacting the Sexual Orientation Discrimination Ordinance (SODO) and recognizing same-sex marriages, and/or by similar legislation or judicial precedents. This would force our society into undergoing a change that would turn it upside-down.

Since we are in such a critical situation, I urge our faithful to play an active role as the “salt of the earth” and the “light of the world”, by taking into due consideration, in the upcoming 2015 District Council Ordinary Election and other Elections in the future, the stance of each candidate and that of the political party he / she might belong to with regard to the core values of marriage and the family, and the proposal to enact SODO.

The second, shorter format is for Sunday Masses.

Cardinal John Tong is urging our faithful, in the upcoming 2015 District Board Ordinary Election and other Elections in the future, to take into due consideration the stance of each candidate and that of the political party he/she might belong to with regard to the core values of marriage and the family, and the proposal to enact a Sexual Orientation Discrimination Ordination (SODO). By doing so, the faithful will be helping to uphold marriage and the family as the foundation of society.

 +John Card. TONG

5 November 2015

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