Trent 1475

Before the Holocaust there was the Merchant of Venice, before the Merchant of Venice there was the Spanish Inquisition, before the Spanish Inquisition there was the Simon of Trent, and before the Simon of Trent there was the Black Death, before the Black Death there were the Crusaders…

The book Trent 1475 documents the proceedings of a blood libel case in Trento, Italy in the year 1475. A Christian boy was found dead and his Jewish neighbours were framed for it. This child, Simon, was once considered a martyr being killed in a ritual murder. His case contributed to anti-Semitism in the European history, which reached its apex in the Holocaust – six million Jews were murdered in that horrific genocide. Eventually, in 1965, Pope Paul VI removed Simon from the Roman Martyrology.

Perhaps it’s only fitting and reassuring that the Chinese edition is published by the Centre for Catholic Studies.

History doesn’t exist in a vacuum. We do not exist in a vacuum. To understand the present we have to consult the past. And history is not just ink printed on dead trees, it is about real living human beings and all that surround them. Nor it just one subject in the school curriculum, for it may lend itself to the betterment of us as individuals and as a species, if we are to pay attention. Paraphrasing George Santayana, “Those who cannot learn from history are doomed to repeat it.”

The question is, have we started learning?

Ecumenical Unity Service

Jointly organised by the Catholic Diocesan Ecumenical Commission and the Hong Kong Christian Council, the annual Ecumenical Unity Service was held at the Kowloon Union Church on Jan-18, marking the beginning of the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity.

To celebrate the 500th anniversary of the Reformation, the liturgy was prepared by the churches in Germany, focusing on the theme Reconciliation.

124 photos: Slideshow, Album

Reflections on Peace

If things go as planned, my reflections on peace will be broadcast on RTHK 4 during 14~18-March, the second last week of Lent.

Special thanks to Rev. Maggie Mathieson for the invitation, and to Rev. Judy Chan for editing the scripts.

Tao Fong Shan

True to its roots as a place for inter-faith dialogue between Buddhists and Christians, Tao Fong Shan remains to be a quiet retreat among the busyness of Hong Kong, welcoming pilgrims of all faiths, to converse, to reflect, and to gain a deeper meaning of life.

Founded by Norwegian missionary Karl Ludvig Reichelt in 1930, it is now home to the Tao Fong Shan Christian Centre, the Lutheran Theological Seminary, and the Ascension House.

32 photos: Lightbox, Album