Hong Kong (Fides Service) – Bishop John Tong Hon auxiliary of the diocese of Hong Kong has been appointed Consultor of the Congregation for the Evangelisation of Peoples for a five year term. With regard to his appointment the Bishop told Fides Service: “This appointment shows that the Holy See gives great attention to the development of the Church in China. It also shows that the universal Church is anxious to keep ever closer contact with the Church in mainland China.”
For the past twenty four years Bishop Tong has worked at the Holy Spirit Study Centre opened by Hong Kong diocese in 1980 to help the local Church authorities to understand the continuing changes on mainland China and promote the unity of the Cathol8ic Church in Hong Kong with the universal Church and contact and collaboration with the Church in China. The members of the Centre pay regular visits to mainland China, and they encourage the faithful to pray for China offering logistic support to mainland China Church personnel when they visit Hong Kong or other countries. Bishop Tong says his appointment is also recognition on the part of the Holy See of the activity of the Holy Spirit Study Centre.
In a statement to Kung Kao Po, Hong Kong diocesan bulletin, Bishop Tong said the appointment “will be a good opportunity to be nearer to the Congregation for the Evangelisation of Peoples . The Missionary Congregation of the Holy See has always shown sincere concern for China. When the Bishop of Hong Kong, Cardinal John Baptist Wu Cheng-Chung died in September 2002, the Pope sent Cardinal Crescenzio Sepe Prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelisation of Peoples to preside his funeral. This was a demonstration of the affection of the Pope and the entire universal Church for China and Hong Kong”. NZ (Fides Service 28/7/2003 EM lines 30 Words: 340)