Dialogue and non-violence: the paths of peace for Hong Kong


In July, Father General visited the Jesuit communities and works in Hong Kong. It was at the beginning of the movement of protest against civil authorities by the younger generations, including the students of the Society’s schools and the students who live at the Ricci Hall, a university residence and an environment of life and commitment directed by the Jesuits. Tensions were perceptible and the Society of Jesus, in the unusual context of a Hong Kong society where order and the law of money have tended to prevail, encouraged discernment and non-violence. (See our article The tensions in Hong Kong: Jesuits and their partners are also feeling them!).

Almost five months later, tensions have not diminished but increased; polarization is strong and violence emerges from time to time between law enforcement and protesters. A geopolitical reading would make it clear that behind what is obvious, there are struggles between the interests of Western and Chinese political and economic powers. In this context, the Provincial and Regional Superiors of the Jesuit Conference of Asia-Pacific wrote a letter of encouragement to the Jesuits and their partners in the Society’s mission in Hong Kong. After having expressed their solidarity in prayer, they write:

“We pray for courage, creativity and compassion for you all, and above all for those who accompany the youth today in Hong Kong. No one is unaffected by the current crisis, but perhaps the youth are the ones who are the hardest hit. Many of them cannot see a hope-filled future for themselves and for Hong Kong. (...)


We abhor violence. Once the path of violence has been opened, it becomes more and more difficult, regardless of political persuasions or duties, to move to harmony. Harmony can only come after reconciliation is won. Reconciliation can happen only once justice is honored. Justice cannot be achieved until the facts and truth are recognized and accepted. Only through dialogue with empathy can we find and accept the truth among and between us.

Do we have the courage to embark on such an arduous journey? To do so requires the desire to listen, to dialogue with empathy, seeking to understand and accept one another, seeking to unearth the causes of the frustration and anxieties that now find such ferocious expressions. For this, sobriety and the rule of law must prevail. For this all must agree to live together, a fresh social and cultural pact must be envisaged together. For Christian people, “responsible citizenship is a virtue, and participation in political life is a moral obligation” (Evangelii Gaudium # 220). We join in solidarity of prayer that this immense task will be grasped and enabled.”

JCAP concludes its message by recalling that the Society of Jesus has defined its mission as one of reconciliation. The creation of spaces for dialogue, where non-violence and peace prevail, is part of this mission in the heart of a turbulent world.

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Posted by Communications Office - Editor in Curia Generalizia
Communications Office
The Communications Office of the General Curia publishes news of international scope on the central government of the Society of Jesus and on the commitments of the Jesuits and their partners. It also handles media relations.

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