Statement of Catholic Laity Against the Enactment of “Hong Kong National Security Law”

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一群天主教徒反對訂立「港版國安法」之聯署聲明

Statement of Catholic Laity Against the Enactment of “Hong Kong National Security Law”

 

本年五月底,第十三屆全國人大會議表決通過《全國人民代表大會關於建立健全香港特別行政區維護國家安全的法律制度和執行機制的決定》(「港版國安法」)立法決定草案,並授權其常委會繞過香港立法程序直接制訂相關本地法律草案。草案內容表明是為「防範、制止和懲治任何分裂國家、顛覆國家政權、組織實施恐怖活動等嚴重危害國家安全的行為,以及外國和境外勢力干預香港特別行政區事務的活動」。然而,中共政權既有多次以「國安法」拘捕、監禁甚至迫害宗教人士的先例,使我們一班香港天主教徒質疑中共政權或會藉「國安法」收緊香港言論自由及宗教自由,即《基本法》第三章第二十七及三十二條賦予港人之基本權利。

At the end of May 2020, the Decision to establish and improve a legal framework and enforcement mechanism for safeguarding national security in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (“the Decision”) is adopted by the third session of the 13th National People's Congress to authorise the National People’s Congress Standing Committee to promulgate a national security law in Hong Kong directly, without having to go through any other Hong Kong legislation-making process. The Decision aims to prevent, stop, and punish acts and activities to split the country, subvert state power, organise and carry out terrorist activities, and other behaviour that seriously endanger national security, as well as activities of foreign and external forces to interfere in the affairs of the HKSAR. Given the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) regime has been arresting, jailing and prosecuting many faithful in the name of “national security” previously, we, as Hong Kong Catholic laity, are cynical about the coming enactment of the law in Hong Kong, which may restrict the fundamental rights i.e. freedom of speech and freedom of religion of Hong Kong citizens stated in Chapter III of the Basic Law, Article 27 and Article 32.

國安法草案條文含糊,對香港宗教自由有潛在威脅。依照天主教會聖統制,教宗對普世教會有直接權威。「教宗——羅馬主教和伯多祿的繼承者,『對主教們和信友群眾,是一個永久性的、可見的統一中心和基礎』」(《教會憲章》)而香港教區與聖座之間的聯繫是否會被視為「勾結外國勢力」,這一點存在疑慮。所謂「國家安全」的含義空泛,草例中沒有明確定義,宗教活動(例如六四祈禱會甚或主日彌撒)是否也會「危害國家安全」?聯繫到近代教會於內地屢受打壓,我們作為天主教徒,對草案當中的這些灰色地帶感到極為憂慮。假如中共有意打壓香港教區,訂立國安法等同對政權大開門戶。

The ambiguity of the draft of the national security law poses a potential threat to religious freedom. According to the Catholic Church Hierarchy, the Pope has authority over the universal church. Furthermore, the Catechism of the Catholic Church has stated that ‘The Pope, Bishop of Rome and Peter's successor, "is the perpetual and visible source and foundation of the unity both of the bishops and the whole company of the faithful."’ It is doubtful whether the connection between the Hong Kong diocese and the Holy See will be deemed an “engagement of oversea forces (that interfere with Hong Kong’s affairs)”. At the same time, the definition of “national security” is vague in the draft. Will religious activities such as prayer meetings for the June Fourth Incident or even Sunday masses be regarded as “endangering national security”? We, as Catholic, are extremely concerned about the grey area of the draft. The enactment of the law is potentially inviting CCP’s suppression of the Hong Kong Diocese.

尤其中國政府數十年來對內地教會的打擊越演越烈,令人更加憂慮香港教會未來。神職人員及教徒被迫加入愛國會、被補、被監禁,例如本年四月,福安市賽岐天主堂黃神父在被政府人員帶走後遭酷刑。同時內地修院一直被嚴密監控,授課講義需經過審查、取錄修生亦需經評鑑其政治取向。而 2018 年《宗教事務條例》實施後,內地宗教活動明顯受更大限制­。更甚者,浙江省以「整改舊住宅區、舊廠區、城中村改造和拆除違法建築」的名目,強拆十字架甚至夷平教堂,剝奪教友恭敬祈禱之所。由此可見,中共以法律為名剝奪中國教會之宗教自由,面對中共正在不斷打壓內地教會的事實,我們質疑「國安法」若延伸至香港,本港天主教徒是否仍能維持一貫的宗教自由以及進行一切宗教事務的權利。

The future of Hong Kong churches becomes especially concerning when CCP has demonstrated harsh, continuous suppression of the Church in China over the past few decades. It has been reported that some clergy and Christians in the mainland were forced to join the Chinese Patriotic Catholic Association, while others were arrested and imprisoned. This April, the internal seminary in the town of Saiqi in Fu'an City was under consistent close monitoring. Handouts of lectures were subject to review, and prospective students were required to undergo political orientation examination before admission. The implementation of the "Regulations on Religious Affairs" in 2018 significantly limits the religious activities in the Mainland. Moreover, in Zhejiang, church members had lost their sanctuaries for worship because the local government demolished crosses and churches in the name of urban renewal. Using laws as an instrument, CCP has deprived the Church in China of religious freedom, which makes us question whether Catholics in Hong Kong can still exercise their usual religious freedom and right to conduct all religious affairs once the "National Security Law" is implemented in Hong Kong.

我們在此以天主教徒的身分強烈反對訂立「港版國安法」,並要求香港政府如實向中央反映宗教人士對「港版國安法」之憂慮。我們在此呼籲中央政府臨崖勒馬,停止相關立法工作和一切侵害宗教自由及基本人權之行為。

As Catholics, we strongly oppose the enactment of the "Hong Kong National Security Law”. Also, we demand the Hong Kong government to reflect all concerns of the religious accordingly to the CCP. We hereby appeal to the Chinese government for termination of relevant legislative work and all violations of religious freedom and basic human rights.

二零二零年六月十七日

17 June 2020

 

(Cover Video : the Cross Is Being Removed From The Church - https://youtu.be/tQWlwYhVUyA )