I.DIOCESAN GUIDELINES IN CONNECTION WITH THE PREMISES OF CHURCHES AND DIOCESAN OFFICES
Cardinal John TONG has promulgated the following diocesan guidelines in connection with the premises of churches and diocesan offices with immediate effect:
1. The premises of churches and diocesan offices are reserved for liturgical, pastoral or administrative purposes.
2. In the case of genuine needs or emergency, out of charity or for humanitarian grounds, the premises of churches and diocesan offices may be used temporarily for repose, first aid, medical treatment or a point of contact for hospital referrals.
3. (a) Under Item 2 above, it is the Parish Priest or the Head of a diocesan office who makes the decision.
If the Parish Priest or the Office Head have queries, or is not present and cannot be promptly notified, the Parish or Office is to promptly consult the Vicar General in charge of parish matters or the Vicar General who co-ordinates the work of the diocesan office concerned, or any other Curia Member. Under emergency, the Diocesan Bishop may also be consulted directly.
4. In the case of the police entering the premises of a church or a diocesan office, either with warrant or without warrant according to the law, in order to make a search or an arrest, the Parish or Office concerned is to promptly notify one of the diocesan officials as stipulated under Item 3(b), so that the Diocese may take follow-up action jointly with the parish or office.
(Note): When the Episcopal See (Diocese) of Hong Kong is vacant, as at present, the “Vicars General” mentioned in Item 3(b) refer respectively to “those who temporarily act in place of a Vicar General”, or the “Apostolic Administrator” who temporarily acts in place of the Diocesan Bishop.
II.WORLD DAY OF PEACE
The Catholic Church will celebrate the 53rd WORLD DAY OF PEACE on Wednesday, 1 January 2020.
In response to the Holy Father’s appeal to promote world peace, Cardinal John TONG will on this occasion preside at a special concelebrated Mass at the Cathedral at 10:00 am. Both clergy and laity are cordially invited to participate.
Parishes are to follow the Proper of the Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God for the eucharistic liturgy on 1 January. They are also urged to pray for world peace.