01/04/2019, 13.35
HONG KONG – VATICAN – CHINA
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Hong Kong bishop to be laid to rest on 11 January

by Paul Wang

Card John Tong will celebrate the funeral service. The day before, Card Joseph Zen will celebrate a Mass. Fr Peter Choy, president of the Seminary College, and Auxiliary Bishop Mgr Joseph Ha have been touted as possible successors.

Hong Kong (AsiaNews) – The Diocese of Hong Kong has issued instructions for the funeral of Mgr Michael Yeung Ming-cheung, who passed away yesterday.

The solemn funeral will take place in the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception, and will be presided by Card John Tong, bishop emeritus of Hong Kong, whom Mgr Yeung had succeeded.

After the funeral, the bishop will be laid to rest in St Michael’s Catholic Cemetery, Happy Valley, in a service officiated by Auxiliary Bishop Mgr Joseph Ha.

The day before the funeral, on 10 January, the bishop's body will lie in state in the cathedral to be honoured by the faithful.

In the evening, at 8 pm, Card Joseph Zen, also bishop emeritus of the diocese, will celebrate a vigil Mass. Prayers will be recited overnight for the bishop.

Meanwhile, ordinary Catholics and members of the clergy are wondering who Mgr Yeung’s successor will be.

Fr Peter Choy (picture 3), president of the Holy Spirit Seminary College, is one of the names mentioned. He is "well versed from a theological point of view" and "much loved by Catholics" for his pastoral style.

Another name is that of the Auxiliary Bishop, Mgr Joseph Ha, a Franciscan, who currently heads the  Justice and Peace Commission (picture 2). Some fear that this commitment may cause frictions with China.  

Mgr Ha is known for his support for the release of jailed Chinese bishops, for his vigils in memory of those killed in Tiananmen, and for his pro-democracy demands in the territory.

Given Mgr Yeung’s frail health, the Vatican has been searching for his successor for some time.

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