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How full is full religious freedom?

HONG KONG (SE): In the clash of heads over the inclusion by chief executive hopeful, Carrie Lam Chen Yuet-ngor, of a suggestion to set up a government Religious Affairs Unit in Hong Kong (see page 1), the phrase, “Hong Kong already enjoys full religious freedom” is being tossed about with gay abandon.

While it is a guarantee of the Basic Law, the definition of religious freedom seems to be at least up for grabs, as it is not necessarily clear who has the right to define or describe it.

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Good friends in wrong places

HONG KONG (SE): The former chief executive of Hong Kong, Donald Tsang Yam-kuen, was sentenced to 20 months’ prison on February 22 on a charge of failing to disclose what were deemed to be spurious plans to lease a luxury penthouse in Shenzhen from an investor, Bill Wong Cho-bau, who was at the same time a major shareholder in WaveMedia and involved in applying for digital radio broadcasting licences.

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Two cardinals two opinions

HONG KONG (SE): The two cardinals in Hong Kong hold divergent opinions on the current discussions taking place between the Vatican and Beijing, with the bishop of Hong Kong, John Cardinal Tong Hon, showing great optimism in his outline of a possible scenario for Church-state relations and his predecessor, Joseph Cardinal Zen Ze-kiun, far more wary.

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Ministry behind the camera

HONG KONG (SE): A group of retired people between the ages of 60 and 70 is helping Caritas Hong Kong-Services for the Elderly to shoot life stories about senior citizens who are facing the prospect of ailing health.

A film production team was set up in 2015 by the Caritas Support Network for Third Age Services. The volunteers need a basic knowledge about movie-making and on-line editing, and they must be fit enough to handle the equipment used in the various stage of production.

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Spring at Caritas

HONG KONG (SE): Guests at the Caritas Spring Reception held in the community hall in its head office in Caine Road on February 17 were treated to an exhibition of Dragon Dancing by students from Caritas Lok Jun School and a graceful performance by students from the Caritas Pelletier School.

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Catholic population grows faster than Mass attendance

HONG KONG (SE): The number of Catholics in Hong Kong has passed the 590,000 mark, an increase of some 5,000 over 2015, the latest statistics released by the Hong Kong Catholic Church Directory 2017 published in January this year indicate.

The latest calculation by the diocese shows that as at August 2016, there were around 591,000 Catholics in Hong Kong. Among them 389,000 local residents are listed.

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What about the workers?

HONG KONG (SE): Hong Kong Catholic Commission for Labour Affairs issued a petition in February calling for more concern and attention from the new chief executive to be given grassroots society than has been receiving up until now.

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An unassuming yet brilliant missionary

LECCO (SE): A long-time missionary to Hong Kong, Italian-born Father Fernando Galbiati, from the Pontifical Institute for Foreign Missions (pime), lost his battle with cancer on February 18.

Born on 14 November 1932 in the Bussero district of Milan, Father Galbiati was the superior general of pime during a highly productive time of growth, which sadly also saw great tragedies between 1983 and 1989.

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Widely varied reaction to Cardinal Tong

HONG KONG (SE): The future of the Sino-Vatican dialogue from an ecclesiological point of view published by the bishop of Hong Kong, John Cardinal Tong Hon, in the Sunday Examiner on February 12 is reminiscent of a university debate where one team sets up and defends a hypothetical argument and the other attacks it.

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World president of Serra visits Hong Kong

HONG KONG (SE): Dante Vannini, the president of Serra International, a worldwide organisation that works to keep the issue of religious vocation on the agenda in local Churches, told the Kung Kao Po on January 19 that the development of religious vocation lies in family, Church life and witness in society.

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