CATHOLIC NEWS OF THE WEEK . Saturday, 19 August 2017

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Democracy is product of love

HONG KONG (SE): Even before we pursue democracy for our country, we seek to build a society that is faithful to God, Bishop Joseph Ha Chi-shing told a prayer gathering at the kiosk in Victoria Park on the evening of June 4.
 
Speaking prior to the annual candlelight vigil in remembrance of those who died before the guns of China’s military in Beijing’s Tiananmen Square 28 years ago, he said that some may have lost hope because there has been no democratic progress, but before democracy must come love for God and country.
 
He explained that only with a deep love for God and each other in their hearts can a people give birth to a truly democratic nation.
 
“In being loved by God, we see human dignity and the rights innate to every human being, as well as the equality and respect that is missing among the people, and the justice and peace that is missing in society,” the auxiliary bishop of Hong Kong continued.
 
He said it is because we have experienced the love of God that we cry out for democracy and our freedom as children of God, something which the bishop said he believes the students in Tiananmen Square felt 28 years ago.
 
Bishop Ha added that he believes that the people who tried to protect the students in Beijing from the tanks and guns with their own bodies also felt that love, as did the one million who gathered in the streets of Hong Kong in support of those rallying in Tianannen Square.
 
“And that spirit of love is still alive in those who over the 28 years that has elapsed since then still refuse to forget,” he pointed out.
 
The Franciscan bishop added to his list those in China who suffer in their quest for justice and peace, citing dissidents like Liu Xiaobo, Tan Zuoren, Li Wangyang and Hu Jia, as well as the human rights lawyers, who have incongruously lost their freedom in their fight for freedom.
 
He explained as children born of this era on Chinese soil they have shown their love in setting their sights squarely on their mission to uphold the dignity of people.
 
“They have chosen to live a life not of stability, but for justice. They have lived out the meaning of love and awakened the consciences of many people, including, I believe, the consciences of you and me,” the bishop told the Christian prayer meeting.
 
The 1,000 or so people who had gathered to pray for the welfare of China then moved in procession to join the 110,000 massing into the park for the vigil.

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