8 Oct 2015

Hong Kong cardinal affirms opposition to same-sex marriage

Hong Kong's Cardinal John Tong Hon has rejected redefining marriage in light of recent developments in USA and Taiwan

In a Cardinal newsletter published in diocesan newsletters last week, the head of Hong Kong's Catholic church rejected all calls for changes in the definition in marriage.

The Cardinal used the communication (published September 30) to reaffirm the institute of marriage as a union between man and woman.

The letter takes note of global changes to the definition of marriage and strongly encourages readers to keep marriage as a heterosexual union.

Cardinal Hon remarks that "The resulting climate change [of same-sex marriage legislation in the USA] in moral attitudes and conduct towards sex and marriage, if not properly addressed, can be as bad as and even worse than climate change in the physical environment."

He goes on to argue that "Redefining marriage by turning it into a gender-neutral or genderless regime is to undermine its very rationale."

Cardinal Hon also suggests that Mr Justice Kennedy's (who ruled that "the right to personal choice regarding marriage is inherent in the concept of individual autonomy" ) ruling does not have the right to redefine marriage and that "those judges who handed down the judgement are not God."

Diocesan Family Commission officer Michael Tse said the pastoral letter was timely. "Though the situation of Hong Kong is not as serious as Taiwan or the U.S., the storm is coming soon," he told ucanews.com.

The actual approach of the diocese toward gay Catholics is often considered a disaster among some community members who said they could not publicly announce their sexuality due to the conservative environment in Hong Kong, according to ucanews.com.

"They just do not know they are hurting us. I hope the church can have more substantial ways to help LGBT people spiritually and psychologically, rather than denying us," said Teresa, a lesbian Hong Kong Catholic.