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Justice through compassion, not retribution, says Hong Kong Bishop in Easter message

Bishop Stephen Chow Sau Yan, SJ

Bishop Stephen Chow Sau Yan, SJ, of Hong Kong calls on the faithful to never seek justice through retributive means but through compassion.

In his Easter Message dated March 25, 2023, the Solemnity of the Annunciation of the Lord, Bishop Chow emphasized that there were around 6,000 arrests that happened in Hong Kong due to the violent outbreaks in 2019, and most of them are still awaiting charges.

“When will they see the light?” said the prelate. “Charge or no charge, there will be signs showing them how to move on. Waiting endlessly will not help them or our society move toward healing.”

“Some may want to seek justice through retributive means. However, compassion and leniency on lighter offenses can give hope and positive energy to our wounded community. We have seen how hatred and violence have brought the stench of death to our beloved Hong Kong. Now, we should lean on compassion and magnanimity to reinforce the fragrance of life in our recovering Hong Kong,” he said.

The Bishop invited every Catholic in Hong Kong to cultivate “a positive and life-giving culture,” enlightened by the Lord’s glorious resurrection.

According to the bishop: “What is advisable is not to allow hardship or evil thoughts to corrupt our hearts or crush our spirits, lest we could become agents of death.”

Furthermore, Bishop Chow also urged the faithful to do whatever they can to support each other even though things are getting better in Hong Kong since 2019, stressing that no one “should not be perceived as burdens of society but as intermediaries of heavenly blessings on those who come to their aid.”

“It is a fact that many people in Hong Kong are still struggling for hope amid their ongoing suffering,” the prelate explained. “As the economy has just begun to pick up, many people struggling at the lower socioeconomic strata still need assistance and the psychological boost from their social communities and ‘neighbors.”

The prelate also encouraged Catholics to share their treasure with others, especially if they do not need their consumer vouches.

“Imagine how much consolation, confidence and hope their sharing can make possible for those who need those extra dollars. God has emptied Himself for us so that we can be eternally consoled in His name and love,” he said.

The Jesuit Bishop also prayed that today’s “anxious and messy world dominated by an entrenched political mentality” can be transformed for the better one little step at a time.

“We are not so naïve to expect dramatic positive changes, but incremental development with sincere and strategic efforts will be nice,” said the bishop.

Read the entirety of Bishop Stephen Chow’s 2023 Easter Message here.


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