CATHOLIC NEWS OF THE WEEK . Sunday, 1 September 2019

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A message from our bishop for Pro-Life Day


Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ
On May 31, for the first time ever our diocese will celebrate Pro-Life Day. It is my earnest hope that this special day dedicated to promoting respect for human life will become an annual event, as envisioned by Pope St. John Paul II in his encyclical, The Gospel of Life (Evangelium Vitae).
The late pontiff wrote in his encyclical, “(The) primary purpose (of Pro-Life Day) should be to foster in individual consciences, in families, in the Church and in civil society a recognition of the meaning and value of human life at every stage and in every condition” (The Gospel of Life, 85).
Regrettably, a variety of things threatening human life are becoming increasingly alarming in our Hong Kong society. The abortion rate in Hong Kong ranks as one of the highest among developed countries and regions in the world.
The ease with which pre-natal and pre-implantation genetic diagnosis or screening are carried out make it look as if they are death sentences for foetuses detected with physical defects.
There have been increasing calls to enact laws affirming the rights of patients to determine by what means and under what circumstances they may end their own lives.

Besides, the in-vitro fertilisation (IVF) industry is booming rapidly to the extent that babies are treated more and more like commodities produced on a factory assembly line than gratuitous gifts from God to be received in a spirit of gratitude.
In addition, promoting the practice of young women storing frozen eggs for IVF procedures to be performed some years off into the future will soon become commonplace. This should not be allowed.
In view of the challenges we are facing, I urge you not only to pray for a greater respect for the dignity and the value of human life in our society, but also to actively give material and spiritual support to the medical, social, educational and pastoral services of the Catholic Church for the promotion and protection of human life in different situations and life stages. Let us bear in mind that God has called us to cherish and safeguard human life from its conception to its natural death.
With my blessing and gratitude for your support and your witness to the Gospel of Life, I remain
Sincerely yours in Christ
+ John Card. Tong
Bishop of Hong Kong
25 April 2017
Feast of St. Mark the Evangelist


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