Cardinal John Tong Hon of
Hong Kong. (AP)
(CNSNews.com) – Catholic Cardinal John Tong Hon of Hong Kong spoke out last week in a pastoral letter against the recognition of homosexual marriages in Hong Kong and a proposed “Sexual Orientation Ordinance,” just days before an annual gay pride parade on Nov. 7.
“In recent years, social trends and political movements, such as extreme libertarian attitudes, individualism, the ‘Sex Liberation Movement’ and the ‘Gay Movement’ under the guise of equality and the fight against discrimination, have all along been advocating the enactment of a Sexual Orientation Discrimination Ordinance in Hong Kong and the recognition of same-sex marriages,” the Cardinal wrote on Thursday, Nov. 5.
“Thereby, the core values and key concepts of marriage and of the family are continually being challenged and misinterpreted, so that the very foundation of society is being undermined,” he said.
“One instance of the foregoing trend is the USA Supreme Court ruling last June which imposed the recognition of same-sex marriages on all the 50 states of that country,” the Cardinal pointed out, “including those states which through a democratic voting system have previously voted against the recognition of same-sex marriages.”
“This social trend could even go one step further by enacting the Sexual Orientation Discrimination Ordinance (SODO) and recognizing same-sex marriages, and/or by similar legislation or judicial precedents," he said. "This would force our society into undergoing a change that would turn it upside down.”
“Since we are in such a critical situation,” the Cardinal concluded, “I urge our faithful to play an active role as the ‘salt of the earth’ and the ‘light of the world,’ by taking into due consideration, in the upcoming 2015 District Council Ordinary Election and other Elections in the future, the stance of each candidate and that of the political party he/she might belong to with regard to the core values of marriage and the family, and the proposal to enact SODO.”
Auxiliary Bishop Michael Yeung Ming-cheung defended Cardinal Tong’s remarks against critics on Sunday, saying, "The church doesn't have any enemy and it wouldn't criticize anyone. It was only talking about a wrong-doing. For example, it was wrong to [abuse] drugs and we would say so, but we still love drug addicts."
“In the pastoral letter, Cardinal Tong did not tell anyone to vote for A, but not B, or to chant a certain slogan, he did not,” said Bishop Michael. “The letter was intended to tell everyone that it is our responsibility to vote, and to mold their conscience. Everyone should be responsible for their conscience-molding.”
According to the South China Morning Post, openly gay Hong Kong lawmaker Raymond Chan Chi-chuen “criticised Yeung for ‘comparing homosexuality to drug addiction.’”
“Homosexuality is not a sin, please do not … slander homosexuals,” Chan wrote on his Facebook page.