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12/07/2021 Hong Kong (International Christian Concern) – On Saturday, Bishop Stephen Chow Sau-yan was ordained a bishop in Hong Kong’s Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception, after the post was vacant for nearly three years.

“As a successor to the Apostles by the grace of Almighty God, I request your constant prayers that I may always be loyal to God’s will as a shepherd to the People of God in Hong Kong, and faithfully carry out my duties,” Chow, who was named by Pope Francis as the new bishop in May, said at the Mass on Dec. 4.

His city has been heavily divided over the democratic movement that reached its peak in 2019 after the government sought to enact an extradition law. The protests following the proposal pushed the government to drop the National Security Law, which many critics view as a draconian law eroding the freedom and rights for Hong Kong residents. Tens of thousands have fled the city, for Hong Kong is no longer a safe place to live.

Among the 400,000 Catholics in Hong Kong Diocese, some are strong supporters of the Beijing-vetted government, while others sympathize and actively participate in the pro-democracy movement.

Against this backdrop, Bishop Chow told the faithful at the end of the Mass that he wanted to help “foster healing and connections” in the Catholic community in his “beloved hometown.”

“As the bishop, it is my desire to be a bridge between the government and the church in Hong Kong and between the Catholic Church, fellow Christian denominations, and other religions,” he said.

The Jesuit bishop also asked for “prayers, support, and collaboration” to help him “carry out this mission” and promised his best with all his heart, soul, and mind.

For interviews, please contact Addison Parker: [email protected].