Message for the 2017 Pro-Life Day

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

This year, on May 31, our Diocese will celebrate for the first time the Pro-Life Day.  It is my earnest hope that this special day dedicated to the cause of respect for human life will become an annual event, as envisioned by Pope St John Paul II in his Encyclical, The Gospel of Life.  According to the late Pontiff, “[The] primary purpose [of the Pro-Life Day] should be to foster in individual consciences, in families, in the Church and in civil society a recognition of the meaning and value of human life at every stage and in every condition” (Evangelium Vitae, 85).

Regrettably, different threats to human life have become increasingly alarming in our Hong Kong society.  The abortion rate of Hong Kong ranks as one of the highest among developed countries and regions in the world.  The ease with which prenatal and preimplantation genetic diagnosis or screening are carried out make them look as if they were ‘death sentences’ for fetuses detected with physical defects.  There have been increasing calls for enacting laws that affirm ‘the rights’ of patients to self-determine by what means and under what circumstances to end their own lives if they so wish.  Besides, the in-vitro fertilisation (IVF) industry is booming rapidly such that babies are treated more and more like products manufactured in a factory-like assembly line rather than gratuitous gifts from God to be received in a spirit of gratitude.  In addition, promoting the practice of storing up frozen eggs by young women for IVF procedures to be performed years later will soon become commonplace. This should not be allowed.

In view of the challenges we are facing, I urge you not only to pray for the cause of greater respect for the dignity and value of human life in our society, but also to actively give material and spiritual support to the medical, social, educational and pastoral services of the Catholic Church for the promotion and protection of human life in different situations and life stages.  Let us bear in mind that God has called us to cherish and safeguard human life from its conception to its natural death.

With my blessing and gratitude for your support and your witness to the Gospel of Life, I remain,

Sincerely yours in Christ,

+ John Card. Tong

Bishop of Hong Kong

25 April 2017

Feast of St. Mark the Evangelist

Leave a Reply