Hong Kong: vandals desecrate Catholic cemetery

St Michael’s Catholic Cemetery

St Michael’s Catholic Cemetery

About 60 graves in St Michael’s Catholic Cemetery in Happy Valley, Hong Kong,  were found vandalized this morning.

Caretakers of the oldest Church cemetery in the territory reported the case to the police around 9.30am after security guards discovered several damaged tombstones and stone vases on the graves.

Father Dominic Chan Chi-ming, chairman of the Diocesan Board of Catholic Cemeteries, told UCA News that the caretakers had reported seeing a woman rush from the cemetery when they came to work around 7am.

Though the surveillance cameras did not make out her face, fingerprints had been found at the scene, he said.

“Unless the vandal is insane, it is a painful act to the deceased and their families,” said Fr Chan, vicar general of the diocese.

Media reports say that the grave of a former government Secretary for Home Affairs was among those damaged.

Police investigations are now underway.

There are five Catholic cemeteries in Hong Kong. The land where the St. Michael’s cemetery stands was leased to the Church in 1848. It is the last resting place for the remains of more than 20,000 Catholics, including Cardinal John Baptist Wu Cheng-chung of Hong Kong.

Daris Yu Cheuk-man, superintendent of Catholic cemeteries, said the incident was the most serious that has ever taken place in a Church cemetery.

“I really want to know the motive ... to damage such a peaceful place,” he said.

He stressed that if anyone is dissatisfied with the Church or the cemetery, he or she could speak out. What has been done not only affected the cemetery but also the families of the deceased, he added.

Source: UCAN

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