A New Pope’s More Liberal Sway in China

Cardinal John Tong Hon attends a mass at St. Peter's Basilica in Vatican City Photograph by Gabriel Bouys/AFP via Getty Images

Each year Cardinal John Tong Hon, the 74-year-old Catholic bishop of Hong Kong, records a brief videotaped Christmas message that fuses Catholic themes with local issues facing people in Hong Kong and mainland China. Recurrent themes include the sustaining power of families, the “virtues of sincerity, love and understanding,” and the need for affordable housing in the expensive and cramped city. Last year, Tong’s message focused on marriage: “In accord with Catholic teaching, we assert that marriage is a mutual self-giving and lifelong commitment between a man and a woman.”

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