Autumn 2017 Vol. 37 - No. 186 Double Centenary: Fatima Apparitions and the Russian Revolution

Bishop Michael Yeung, the New Leader of the Diocese of Hong Kong

Tripod Staff

        On 1 August, 2017, coadjutor bishop Michael Yeung Ming-cheung became the Bishop of Hong Kong, after Pope Francis accepted the resignation of John Cardinal Tong who had shepherded the Diocese faithfully for eight years.

        Bishop Yeung was born in Shanghai on 1 December, 1945. He was ordained to the priesthood for the Diocese of Hong Kong in 1978. He had served as the Chief Executive of Caritas Hong Kong for over a decade.

        Bishop Yeung, together with Bishops Joseph Ha Chi-shing and Stephen Lee Bun-sang, was consecrated as auxiliary bishops on 30 August, 2014. On 13 November, 2016 Pope Francis appointed Bishop Yeung coadjutor bishop with automatic rights to succeed Cardinal Tong.

        Bishop Yeung outlined several pastoral priorities during the eucharistic celebration on the commencement of his episcopal ministry.

        He underscored“relational poverty”which is often, but not necessarily linked with other forms of poverty. It consists in the pain, loneliness, hopelessness and sense of alienation that are often associated with a lack of or a breakdown in loving or meaningful relationships.

        He called for "compassionate accompaniment" for the poor, the sick, the lonely, the elderly, the disenfranchised and the marginalized, whom Bishop Yeung referred to as "the last, the least and the lost."

        The Diocese's pastoral priorities will include ministry in the healing of relationships, particularly with regard to problems affecting families.

        Bishop Yeung noted that in Hong Kong's rapidly aging society, the ability of the elderly to live in dignity, and to be viewed as valuable members of society deserves special attention. The “relational health”of elderly persons, he pointed out, depends on the loving touch from caregivers, especially family members. Social media should not be a substitute for human companionship.

        Bishop Yeung called on those in authority to listen to, and engage the young people in order to discern“the root causes of the frustrations, discontent, helplessness, distrust of authority and even anger experienced by many of our young people.”

        Trust takes time, and sincerity on?all?sides, to build or rebuild -he emphasized.

        The Diocese will continue to draw attention to“many livelihood and other important issues, including political reform, affecting Hong Kong's well-being which still need to be addressed.”

        Catholics value integral human development.“It would be a sad day for Hong Kong,” said Bishop Yeung,“if people cared only for economic development.”

        Cardinal Tong and Cardinal Joseph Zen Ze-kiun, Auxiliary Bishop Joseph Ha Chi-shing of Hong Kong and Bishop Stephen Lee Bun-sang of Macau concelebrated the Mass on 5 August to ask God’s blessing on Bishop Yeung and the Diocese. More than one thousand Catholics took part, together with representatives from the Orthodox Church and Protestant denominations, as well as dignitaries.

The mission to evangelize continues for Cardinal Tong

        The diocese was blessed and grew under the pastoral care of Cardinal Tong. He is expected to remain active in many ministries, despite his retirement as Bishop of Hong Kong.

        On 30 July he shared with the Cathedral congregation a letter from Cardinal Fernando Filoni, prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples, who thanked Cardinal Tong for serving“the Diocese of Hong Kong with great zeal and indisputable fidelity to Peter’s Successor with particular solicitude for the Church in China, always searching to build bridges and to promote full communion of the local Church with the Church Universal.”He wrote that as shepherd, Cardinal Tong's“priestly mission is not ended but transformed."

        Cardinal Tong told Kung Kao Po, the Chinese diocesan weekly, he would spend more time at the Holy Spirit Seminary which nourishes his life of prayer, and where he teaches.

        Cardinal Tong will also "continue to serve the Universal Church, including being a member of the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue."

        Happily for us at Tripod, he will remain the executive director of the Holy Spirit Study Centre which researches on the life of the Church in China, and helps the diocese in its role as a bridge between the Universal Church and the Church in China.

        In“A Letter to My Family in Christ”(published on 29 June, 2017), Cardinal Tong “encourage[s] the Holy See to be in accord with the spirit of the Second Vatican Council and try to move dialogue between China and the Vatican forward.”

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