UCA News Catholic Dioceses in Asia
UCA News Catholic Dioceses in Asia
UCA News Catholic Dioceses in Asia
UCA News

Hong Kong

As Hong Kong tensions intensify, Catholics call for cool heads

Bishop tells crowd that 'violence will only create more violence and hatred will only produce more hatred'

ucanews.com reporter

ucanews.com reporter

Updated: September 03, 2019 09:57 AM GMT
Mission in Asia | Make a Contribution
Mission in Asia | Make a Contribution
As Hong Kong tensions intensify, Catholics call for cool heads

Catholics gather in front of the Cathedral of Immaculate Conception for a prayer vigil on Aug. 8. (ucanews.com photo)

Share this article :
More than 1,000 Catholics staged a candlelight vigil on Aug. 8 to pray for Hong Kong to solve its political crisis; the organizers hope the faithful can remain solely a prayer movement.

A crowd estimated at 1,200 demanded a full withdrawal of the controversial extradition law amendment; the establishment of an independent investigation committee into the conflict between protesters and police; and accountability by the Hong Kong Legislative Council and chief executive.

They gathered in front of the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception and marched through the central business district to the Court of Final Appeal of the Hong Kong, singing hymns and holding electronic candles.

The vigil was staged by the Justice and Peace Commission of Hong Kong Diocese (HKJP), Hong Kong Federation of Catholic Students (HKFCS), Diocesan Youth Commission and St. Benedict parish social concern group.

Auxiliary Bishop Joseph Ha Chi-shing gave a homily to the faithful, saying the situation called for the Church to speak out with peace and reason. “In the past two months, we have really experienced the limit of humanity and we should pray,” he told them.

Related News
“Violence will only create more violence. Hatred will only produce more hatred. Injustice will never achieve justice. History will prove that only peace and reason can establish a long-term peace.”

Auxiliary Bishop Joseph Ha (center) blessed the faithful at the end of the vigil. (ucanews.com photo)


The Franciscan bishop pointed out that the root cause lay with the Hong Kong government, who had no excuse for its actions.

Meanwhile, keeping the peace was something of a “mission impossible” for police, he said, since the current problems were rooted in politics, not security.

Bishop Ha also admitted that the city was full of emotion and no one knows what to do. “But at least we can stop for a while and give each other a cooldown period to think about what to do next,” he suggested.

Resolution lies in non-violence

Lina Chan, executive secretary of the HKJP, noted that the levels of violence by police and resistance by the protesters were increasing, so at this precarious time the Church had to emphasize principles of non-violence.

“When we are reaffirming the importance of peace, we should base that on justice,” Chan told ucanews.com. “We need to bring the truth into the light; this is what can lead us to a true reconciliation.”

Chan also believes the creation of an independent investigation committee could help relieve the current situation. “It is not only the processionals and trade unions who request it but also the public,” she added. “To have such a committee can help avoid similar things happening again.”

Some 1,200 Catholics participated in the Hong Kong vigil on Aug. 8. (ucanews.com photo)


Francis Yu, a Catholic from St. John the Baptist parish, agreed with the idea of setting up such a committee, thinking it could restrain emotions. “The violence today is not we want to see. That’s why I pray and hope the issue can be solved soon,” she told ucanews.com.

Although the amendment bill has been suspended, Yu wants the government to formally withdraw it. She also called for an investigation into allegations of abuse of power by the police.

South Korean priest Father Luke Park, who also joined in the march, noted that some people, both in positions of authority and people in general, hoped for a speedy resolution to the crisis.

“But it is tempting to use violence,” Father Park told ucanews.com. “Using force is quick to do but finding a peaceful way takes time. That’s why, as Christians, we have to stick to our position.”

Support UCA News...

As 2020 unfolds, we are asking readers like you to help us keep Union of Catholic Asian News (UCA News) free so it can be accessed from anywhere in the world at no cost.

That has been our policy for years and was made possible by donations from European Catholic funding agencies. However, like the Church in Europe, these agencies are in decline and the immediate and urgent claims on their funds for humanitarian emergencies in Africa and parts of Asia mean there is much less to distribute than there was even a decade ago.

Forty years ago, when UCA News was founded, Asia was a very different place - many poor and underdeveloped countries with large populations to feed, political instability and economies too often poised on the edge of collapse. Today, Asia is the economic engine room of the world and funding agencies quite rightly look to UCA News to do more to fund itself.

UCA News has a unique product developed from a view of the world and the Church through informed Catholic eyes. Our journalistic standards are as high as any in the quality press; our focus is particularly on a fast-growing part of the world - Asia - where, in some countries the Church is growing faster than pastoral resources can respond to - South Korea, Vietnam and India to name just three.

And UCA News has the advantage of having in its ranks local reporters that cover 22 countries and experienced native English-speaking editors to render stories that are informative, informed and perceptive.

We report from the ground where other news services simply can't or won't go. We report the stories of local people and their experiences in a way that Western news outlets simply don't have the resources to reach. And we report on the emerging life of new Churches in old lands where being a Catholic can at times be very dangerous.

With dwindling support from funding partners in Europe and the USA, we need to call on the support of those who benefit from our work.

Click here to find out the ways you can support UCA News. You can make a difference for as little as US$5...
UCAN Donate
UCA Newsletter
Thank you. You are now signed up to our Daily Full Bulletin newsletter

Also Read

UCA News Podcast
Mission in Asia | Make a Contribution
Mission in Asia | Make a Contribution
Mission in Asia | Make a Contribution