Last rites for late Catholic leader Michael Yeung

Friday, January 11, 2019

Hundreds of people, including Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor and other top officials, attended a funeral service today for the late Bishop Michael Yeung Ming-cheung, who died at the age of 73 last week.

They bade farewell to the leader of the Hong Kong Catholic diocese at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception on Caine Road.

Among those attending the Mass were Chief Secretary Matthew Cheung Kin-chung, Financial Secretary Paul Chan Mo-po, Justice Secretary Teresa Cheng Yeuk-wah and former chief secretary Anson Chan Fang On-sang, RTHK reported.

"We are grateful to God for the 40 years that he served here as a priest and then as a bishop," said Cardinal John Tong Hon, the acting head of the local Catholic community, who presided over the funeral mass.

"He was a faithful priest, and then a faithful bishop to the end. And now he is enjoying his eternal reward in heaven."

Pope Francis also sent his blessing from the Vatican.

Auxiliary Bishop Joseph Ha Chi-shing, meanwhile, described Yeung as a hardworking and committed person who devoted all his life to serving the Catholic Church and Hong Kong.

He recalled that the late bishop, who assumed office in 2017, has said his priority would be to help bridge the social divide.

Ha added that Yeung had felt troubled by comments that he had to make about social events as the head of Catholic Church. He quoted Yeung as saying that if he wasn't the bishop, he wouldn't have expressed himself the way he did.

Yeung was at the center of a number of controversies over the years, coming under criticism for his pro-establishment stance, as well as comparing gay people to drug addicts.

He was to be laid to rest at St Michael's Cemetery in Happy Valley. Photo: RTHK.