Catholic cemetery vandalized in Hong Kong

Diocese will absorb the repair costs to ease the pain and sorrow of affected families
Catholic cemetery vandalized in Hong Kong

A man stretches to light a candle at the urn of a loved at a Catholic cemetery during Ching Ming Festival, or grave-sweeping day in Hong Kong in this file photo taken on April 4, 2013. Dozens of urn niches were damaged by a vandal at St. Raphael's Catholic Cemetery in Cheung Sha Wan on Sept. 2. (Photo by Antony Dickson/AFP) reporter, Hong Kong
Hong Kong
September 7, 2018
Hong Kong Diocese will absorb the cost of repairing 92 urn niches that were deliberately damaged at a diocesan cemetery, many of them containing the remains of couples.

In some cases, the portraits of female deceased were defaced.

The vandalism at St. Raphael's Catholic Cemetery in Cheung Sha Wan was discovered on Sept. 2.

There are more than 28,000 niches at the cemetery.

Rev. Dominic Chan Chi-ming, the vicar general of the Hong Kong Diocese, told that the cemetery would try its best to aid and comfort the affected families.

Maria, whose parent's niche was damaged, called for the speeding up of efforts to catch those responsible and deal with the aftermath.

The Diocesan Board of Catholic Cemeteries called a special meeting on Sept. 5 to discuss what occurred.

A statement issued after the meeting stressed that members of the diocesan curia shared the pain of affected families.

Although cemetery rules meant there were no legal obligations in relation to the damage, it had been decided that the diocese would pay for repairs once police re-opened the sealed crime scene.

It was hoped this could be completed within 10 days.

The diocese also decided to dedicate a 10:30 am Oct. 6 Mass at the cemetery chapel, officiated by Father Chan Chi-ming about the wanton vandalism.

The cemetery is adding two more security guards and will consider installation of surveillance cameras. 

One of the damaged niches at St. Raphael's Catholic Cemetery in Cheung Sha Wan. ( photo)

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