ASIA NEWS REPORT: In the spirit of Christmas, Mgr Tong calls for more housing, less selfishness
Hong Kong’s Catholic bishop calls on the
government and the rich business community to solve the city’s acute housing
problem. Yueyue, the two-year-old toddler left to die after she was hit by two
vehicles, is remembered. Anglican bishop calls for a return to core values
against widespread “individualism”.
Hong Kong (AsiaNews) – We must implement the spirit of
Christmas and “get rid of our selfishness” by meeting the housing needs of the
people of Hong Kong, said Mgr John Tong Hon, bishop of Hong Kong. In his
Christmas message released on Friday, the prelate called on local government and
the business sector to solve Hong Kong’s pressing housing problems.
Lord Jesus was born in a manger because there was no room for his parents in the
inn. Nowadays, many people in Hong Kong are having great difficulty in finding a
place to live,” Bishop Tong said.
He especially pleaded with the local
government, the rich and the business sectors to help solve this “urgent problem
as housing” in Hong Kong. Housing is “a basic need and right of every family,”
“Christmas is the time of caring. If we implement the spirit of
Christmas throughout the year, I am sure we will be doing our part to make our
world better and more humane,” he said.
Remembering a two-year-old girl
who was recently run over by two vehicles in mainland China, he noted that 2
drivers and 18 pedestrians failed to stop. Eventually, a woman carried her to a
hospital, but unfortunately, she died a few days later (see "Yueyue,
the two year old hit by two trucks and left to suffer, dies,” in AsiaNews,
21 October 2011). “This case is a warning call for us to get rid of our
selfishness and be more concerned for those in need,” he said.
faithful of his diocese, Bishop Tong announced that the Year of the Laity would
be extended by one more year.
In his message, the prelate told local
Catholics to emphasise the Christian initiation of adults with an appropriate
period of catechumenate. Similarly, he urged them to promote family values, give
witness to the Gospel and be good citizens, as Pope Benedict XVI’s 2007 letter
to the Catholic Church in China said. As part of this, the message encourages
Catholics to achieve the three goals of the Year of the Laity, i.e. make
ourselves holy, sanctify others and transform the world.
In his strongly
worded Christmas message, also released on Friday, Anglican Archbishop Paul
Kwong said that local core values have been taken away by selfishness and the
pursuit of money, which he described as the “pervasiveness of individualism” in
this affluent city.
Mentioning the measures taken after a big fire in
late November killed nine people and injured dozens more, he noted that people
have become "cold-hearted", placing making a living before protecting