Archbishop Hon moves from Rome to Athens


Archbishop Savio Hon Tai-fai, the top Chinese official at the Holy See, has been appointed the apostolic nuncio to Greece.

In 2016, he was for some time the apostolic administrator of Agãna, in Guam.

Hon’s appointment in Guam followed a request from Archbishop Anthony Sablan Apuron of Agãna, who was under investigation as a result of allegations of sexual abuse made against him.

Hong Kong-born Hon, who is a Salesian, was at that time secretary of the Vatican’s Congregation for the Evangelisation of the Peoples.

He told then that the task of being administrator was an added service to his position as secretary.

Pope Benedict XVI had appointed him secretary at Propaganda in 2010.

He did so on the recommendation of fellow Salesian Cardinal Joseph Zen and another powerful Salesian – the thenn Secretary of State, Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone.

Hon has been the only high-ranking Chinese official in the Roman Curia. He has been seen as Zen’s eyes and ears in the Roman Curia.

Zen is well known for his aggressive anti-communism and support of Catholics who are at odds with the government. He is the most senior critic of Pope Francis’ policy of rapprochement with Communist China.

Hon has been back in Rome for less than a year; his appointment to Athens seems to indicate that Pope Francis has a very clear strategy for engaging Communist China and, in this difficult operation, insists on aides who fully embrace this project.


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News category: Asia Pacific.

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