The new Bishop of Hong Kong, John Tong, said the recent publication of the Compendium of Pope Benedict XVI 2007 Letter to Chinese Catholics could help the Chinese to work through their differences and be united with a Pope who is intent upon speaking to them despite the continuous efforts of the regime to silence his voice.
In a special report sent to Aid to the Church in Need, Bishop Tong said the concern the Holy See has for the Chinese has astounded them, and that the Compendium is an answer to the attempts of Communist officials to block the circulation of the Pope’s 2007 letter.
The Communist regime has prohibited Chinese from have access to the letter via the Internet. “In almost any other part of the world, Catholics can openly meet to study a papal document, but in China this continues to be difficult.”
Referring to the Compendium, which uses a question-answer format, Bishop Tong explained that it can “help to better understand the general contents (of the 2007 letter). This format has been used for a long time in China to systematically present Catholic catechesis.”
Bishop Tong, who was part of a special commission that helped draft proposals for the Compendium, said the document “reflects the spirit and essence” of the 2007 letter, which was intended to foster greater unity among Chinese Catholics.