CATHOLIC NEWS OF THE WEEK . Saturday, 17 June 2017

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Bishop calls for prayer for universal suffrage

HONG KONG (SE): “Let us pray for the progress of political reform in Hong Kong. May universal suffrage be implemented as soon as possible, so that all citizens of Hong Kong may fully exercise the civil right of taking an active part in politics,” reads a prayer that the bishop of Hong Kong, John Cardinal Tong Hon, asked to be included at Mass on March 25, the day of the closed circle-selection process for the next chief executive.

The controversial outcome, which saw Leung Chung-ying become the chief executive-in-waiting in the special administrative region, was also criticised by Reverend Lo Lung-kwong, the dean of the ecumenical Chung Chi Divinity School.

Ecumenical News International reported him as describing the people in the streets as on-lookers at best.

At a prayer service held on March 23 in the run up to the election, the Hong Kong Christian Council said in a statement, “We are disoriented and angry,” in its prayer for universal suffrage in the territory.

Cardinal Tong called on all Catholics to be united in mind and in heart in praying for the future of Hong Kong.

He called for trust in the providence of God, irrespective of who came out on top in the selection process at the Wan Chai Exhibition Centre, where only business and political heavyweights were allowed to take part.

He added that ultimately it is the people who must struggle to make an impact for good on the politics of the region. 

Cardinal Tong called on them to pray for the inspiration to scrutinise their daily affairs in the spirit of the gospel and become the salt of the earth, the light of the world and the yeast of society.

However, he added that despite the disappointment of the people in the selection process, Hong Kong will have a new government as of July 1. He asked people to pray that it may function with uprightness, integrity and a sense of responsibility.

The bishop of the diocese asked people to pray that “(officials) may formulate sound policies and implement them in improving people’s livelihood, caring for the poor and the needy, and promoting the well-being of society at large.”

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