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The Archbishop’s Christmas Message 2013

Dear beloved fellow citizens of Hong Kong:
Peace be with you.For many people, whether Christians or not, Christmas is a season full of joy, peace and hope.Through His love, sacrifice, forgiveness and acceptance, the Incarnation of Jesus was to set human beings free from sins and to restore their dignity and values.In Christ our Lord, all divisions and alienations between human beings break down.The rich and the poor, men and women, the youth and the elderly, all ethnic groups, people of all colour and belief gather together like brothers and sisters with one heart because they are one in Christ.The Incarnation of Jesus Christ gives people the courage to overcome difficulties and to face challenges. He also offers new opportunities and possibilities to us.
However, such positive and constructive spirit and values have recently been confronted with and marred by speeches and behaviours promoting discrimination, xenophobia and “Hongkonger first”.  Some politicians, who eye on votes only, incite vernacularism by calling for restricting and reducing the quota of immigrants from the Mainland.  Such views, which oppose to family-reunion, are not in line with the basic human rights and justice.  The claim of the mother of a missing baby that the baby was kidnapped by a woman with Mainland accent was hyped up by some mass media to give people the wrong impression that all criminals were from the Mainland.  The purpose of such labeling is to create conflicts between Hong Kong people and the Mainlanders resulting in alienation and division. 
At the same time, as a measure to attract media attention at public forums or on the internet, some people like to express their views with body and abusive language when commenting on remarks by government officials and people holding different views.  Body language does not help resolve issues, but can easily cause injuries to law enforcement officers and other people.  Curses, foul language, scolding and intimidations harm not only others’ dignity and feelings, but also downgrade the integrity and personality of the one who uses them.  Such behaviours also damage and degrade the image of Hong Kong as a civilized city.  Such vulgar and despicable way of expressing one’s opinions is not acceptable and approved by the majority of our citizens. 
The late President of South Africa, Mr. Nelson Mandela, won the praises of the whole world because of his noble personality and moral sentiment.  He lived out the spirit and values of Christmas.  When he was young, he was imprisoned for more than 20 years because of his fighting for the human rights of Africans and opposing the apartheid policy of the White South African government.  When he became the President, Mr. Mandela built the new South Africa through mutual forgiveness, unity and social reconciliation.  He did not sought revenge to those who had persecuted him, particularly the Whites.  Instead, he loved, supported and respected them.  His virtue of paying evil with good is respected by all peoples.  He is a great and visionary statesman and fighter for democracy, because apart from confrontation, criticizing and resistance, he also knew how to build and affirm.  One mourner said well about Mr. Mandela that we lost not only a great man, but also the model of statesmen. 
Hong Kong is now conducting public consultation on achieving universal suffrage in 2017.  In the true spirit of Mr. Mandela, which is reconciliation, tolerance and unity, Hong Kong people should express their views in an open minded, peaceful, engaging, tolerant, pragmatic and mutual respecting manner in trying to work out a method for selecting the Chief Executive.  The method eventually adopted might not be ideal, but we should not be discouraged because no one system or method is perfect at the first time.  All systems are improved through continuous dialogues, consultations, and through trails and errors in operations.  The key of success lies in confidence, hope and the positive attitude of seeking breakthroughs.  Wall Street investor William Ackman noted that pessimists did not achieve as much as the optimists did.  
It is true that Hong Kong faces a number of difficulties and challenges but not hopelessness.  And we are not at the end of the road that leads to nowhere.  We still enjoy many advantages, assets, opportunities and choices.  Our biggest asset and advantage are not confined only to have a good system, but also need a large number of Hong Kong people who have noble moral sentiment and are open minded, reconciliatory, tolerant and respecting different peoples and beliefs.  
I hope the hope, peace and joy of Christmas would be planted in the lives of Hong Kong people so that we could join hands with confidence and hope to actively build Hong Kong into a place, where we were born and grew up, of better civilization, continuing improvements, more popular and more opportunities and possibilities for everyone. 
Finally, I wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.  May the Lord’s blessing be with you always. 
+ Paul Kwong 
2013-12-20   更新
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