CATHOLIC NEWS OF THE WEEK . Sunday, 1 September 2019

Print Version    Email to Friend
Hong Kong cardinal first to a conclave

HONG KONG (AsiaNews): John Cardinal Tong Hon is set to become the first person from Hong Kong to vote for a new pope at a conclave, when it convenes sometime during March.

Although the news came in the middle of the Lunar New Year holiday, a statement released by the Office of Social Communications in the diocese said that people accepted the news with a heavy heart.

“Today,” the press release says, “is the Feast of Our Lady of Lourdes, the universal Church will pray for the sick and let us pray for the Holy Father.”

The bishop of Hong Kong, Cardinal Tong, is asking the diocese to pray in a special way for the election of the new pope. 

“This is the Year of Faith and Catholics ought to show their faith and trust in the Almighty that God will continue to guide and bless the Church to overcome all kinds of difficulties,” he says.

In mainland China, Church people said they were shocked by the news and could not believe it was true in the beginning. But one noted, “We thank the pope for serving the Church so long. We’ll pray for his health.”

A priest commented, “This pope is a great example for all, as his act of stepping down has taught us the meaning of sacrifice and emptiness of power. One can give up power, to be like Christ to sacrifice for others to overcome death in order to live.”

At 81-years-of age, the former bishop of Hong Kong, Joseph Cardinal Zen Ze-kiun, will not be at the conclave, but he may participate in meetings in the run up, which reflects on the needs of the Church and on the qualities desired in the next pope.

More from this section