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The voice of survivors

IN THEIR PEACE Declarations at the commemoration of the anniversaries of the only two cities in the world to have been victim of an atomic explosion, the mayors of both Hiroshima and Nagasaki focussed on the July 7 vote in the United Nations (UN) when 122 nations put up their hands in favour of an across the board ban on nuclear weaponry and called for pressure to be put on all nuclear powers to dismantle their stockpiles.
 








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His presence was his elocution

Christians, including many in the Catholic Church in Hong Kong adopted Liu Xiaobo as a prophet during his life time and, since his untimely death in a Chinese prison on July 13, embraced him as a martyr.
 
Liu was not a Christian or a Catholic, but his lifelong commitment to the truth and the great value he placed on the integrity of his own conscience remained the driving inspiration of his life—an inspiration that he suffered and ultimately died for.
 








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It is tough at the top

On August 1, the Holy See announced that it has accepted the retirement of the current bishop of Hong Kong, John Cardinal Tong Hon, and that he is to be succeeded automatically by his coadjutor, Bishop Michael Yeung Ming-cheung.
 
While a change in the leadership at the top of the diocese is always a matter of much interest, often preceded by a period of intense speculation, in one sense it is of little consequence, yet in another, it is vital for the Church.
 








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The time is near

The quietly spoken, mild mannered bishop of Hong Kong is due to step down from his position when he turns 78 on July 31. For reasons best known to minds across the world in the Vatican, when he tendered his resignation as required prior to his 75th birthday, his offer was rejected and his term extended for a further three years, but with the rider it would not be extended again.
 
However, the eight years John Cardinal Tong Hon spent as the leader of the Church in Hong Kong have been highly eventful ones.
 








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Contract work hours and other problems

The duty of heads of government is to harmonise sectoral interests with the requirements of justice in order that the common good may be attained in conjunction with the contribution of every citizen (The Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church 168-9).
 
But on working hours and the offset against the Mandatory Provident Fund (MPF) for severance pay, the government hurriedly launched two policies, which are neither fish, flesh nor fowl, as personal political aspirations were placed over people’s need.








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Ignoring the weak at own peril

The manner in which the government treats the most vulnerable in the workforce should be a matter of concern for the whole of society, as it is a strong indication of how it is prepared to treat everyone.
 
A society that does not take independent steps to protect the weakest sections of its workforce can destroy its ability to protect itself.
 








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Far more than an incident

OVER THE PAST 100 years Tiananmen Square in Beijing has played host to history defining events, which have been both controversial and subject to considerable government interpretation. In one particular case, even a reversal of verdict.
 
In 1919, as people were beginning to assert themselves as self-determining with a popular power base rather than an elitist one, a mass gathering in the famed square on May 4 cited what was called government weakness in giving into Japan in the Versailles Treaty.
 








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Pro-Life Day

John Cardinal Tong Hon said in his Message for the 2017 Pro-Life Day that the Hong Kong diocese will celebrate the day on May 31 and dedicate it to the promotion of an appreciation of the sacredness of life.
 
The bishop of Hong Kong said explicitly that this decision, as envisioned by Pope John Paul II, is to promote this special day as an annual event. Its aim is to arouse awareness, respect for and protection of human life.
 








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A decade on from pope’s letter to Chinese Catholics

May 27 this year marks the 10th anniversary of the letter Pope Benedict XVI penned to the Catholic people of China. Although commentators hold a wide variety of views on the impact of the letter, what is undeniable is that it has given the Church in China a clear direction and led it into a new era.
 








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A time for mothers

May is a month of family love. Apart from being dedicated to the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother’s Day is also celebrated in May. This reminds us that we should honour both our mother in heaven and our mothers on earth.
 
Mother’s Day is an opportunity to respect women and honour the love that mothers lavish on their children. It has become everybody’s festival with a great variety of celebrations in the streets designed at expressing love and filial piety towards mothers.