Chinese cardinal to be a chairman at Catholic synod

Cardinal John Tong Hon, the bishop of Hong Kong, will be one of the three delegated chairmen at the synod of bishops in the Vatican in October, the Vatican announced Saturday.

Hon will take his place alongside Cardinal Francisco Robies Ortega, the archibishop of Guadalajara in Mexico and Laurent Monsengwo Pasinya, the archbishop of Kinshasa, capital of the Democratic Republic of Congo, at the general assembly from October 7 to 28, the Vatican statement said.

The theme of the synod "the new evangelisation" is of major interest to Pope Benedict XVI.

The synod's rapporteur will be Cardinal Donald William Wuerl, archbishop of Washington, while its general secretary will be Pierre-Marie Carre, archbishop of Montpellier in France.

The Vatican press office emphasised that all five continents would thereby be represented at the important gathering.

Benedict regularly deplores the "crisis in faith" and decline in Christian values in Western countries and has made the "new evangelisation" the number one priority in his pontificate, creating a new post in the Vatican in 2010 dedicated to exploring strategies to spread the faith.

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