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Hong Kong's next Catholic chief to attend Games, report says

The future leader of the Roman Catholic church in Hong Kong will attend the opening of the Beijing Olympics, a report said Monday, the latest sign of thawing ties between China and the Vatican.
Coadjutor Bishop John Tong, who was announced as the successor to Cardinal Joseph Zen in January, has been invited by organizers to attend the opening ceremony in August, the South China Morning Post said.
"Not so long ago the Holy Father (pope) expressed his blessings towards China for a successful Olympics. I will follow his good wishes and attend this joyous national event as a witness," Tong said, according to the Post.
No one from the Catholic diocese in Hong Kong was immediately available for comment.
The visit has been approved by Zen, the report said. Zen has been an outspoken critic of China's record on democracy and religious freedom.
The Holy See has long been at odds with China over who controls the booming Catholic church in the world's most populous nation.
The Vatican wants all Chinese Catholics - currently divided between an "official" Church sanctioned by the Chinese government and an underground one loyal to the Vatican - to be brought under papal authority.

Updated : 2021-05-18 12:54 GMT+08:00