Hong Kong Catholics Encouraged to Contribute to October Synod

Cardinal Tong Writes Letter Asking Faithful to Respond to Vatican Questionnaire

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The Church in Hong Kong has launched its consultation to help prepare the October Synod of the Bishops on family.

Cardinal John Tong, bishop of Hong Kong, encouraged faithful to respond to the 46 questions, as listed on the working document (Lineamenta), for the 14th Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod, which will be held at the Vatican Oct. 4-25, with the theme “The Vocation and mission of the Family in the Church and Contemporary World”.

The Cardinal issued a letter to the local church, asking for their contributions with their collective wisdom and insights.

He listed the challenges to marriage and family nowadays in the city, such as an increasing divorce rate; more and more people remaining unmarried amid long working hours; and unresolved home ownership problems.

According to a government survey from January, the number of divorces increases continuously, with the divorce rate at 3.1 per 1,000 in 2013, which is nearly 3 times higher than that of 1991.

“While your responses should be enlightened by Christian faith and in line with Church teaching,” he said, “they should also take into consideration our particular social, cultural and ecclesial setting.”

The letter came with the working document, which has been translated into Chinese. Catholics may get the document from the Web site of the diocese, or the Catholic weekly distributed to the 51 parishes.  

Faithful are encouraged to reply by February 28, that a working group for the diocese may comply and consolidate the feedback.

Meanwhile, the diocesan working group held a briefing session for faithful February 6. It encouraged parishes to help promoting the consultation, and Catholics to set up groups to study the document.

Dioceses around the world are organizing their own efforts to collect and compile responses from the faithful. The faithful are encouraged to check with their local dioceses to determine how to participate.

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