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Chinese Cardinal John Tong Hon turns 80, can't vote in potential conclave

The month of July concludes with one cardinal-voter less than before. The cardinal emeritus of Hong Kong, John Tong Hon, turned 80 years old on July 31.

He is the seventh Chinese cardinal in history and a great defender of religious freedom in his country.

In 2012, he strongly criticized the Beijing regime, since they did not allow local bishops participate in the synod on New Evangelization that took place in the Vatican.

Bishop emeritus of Hong Kong
“I think it's a real pity that no other Chinese bishop has been allowed to leave the country to participate in this synod. It is a great pity and that is why we have to pray for the Church in China. One day we will enjoy full freedom, religious freedom and also a fully open government.”

In 1996, John Paul II appointed him bishop, and in 2012 Benedict XVI named him cardinal. In 2013, he participated in the conclave where that elected Pope Francis.

Like all cardinals, turning 80 means John Tong Hong loses the right to vote in a possible conclave. Currently the number of cardinal electors is 119.

Daniel Díaz Vizzi
Translation: Melissa Butz