Halloween over for devil-slur priest

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 29 October, 2011, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 29 October, 2011, 12:00am

A Catholic priest who caused a furore last year by likening property tycoon Li Ka-shing to the devil and other developers to demons has been told to call off a Halloween party he was helping to organise.

Father Thomas Law Kwok-fai was called to a meeting on Thursday with Bishop John Tong Hon and Vicar-General Michael Yeung Ming-cheung, during which he was told to cancel the party, according to a source close to Law yesterday.

Dubbed 'Ghosts going out again' in Chinese, the Halloween party was to have been held tomorrow at the Mother of Good Counsel Church in San Po Kong. Instead, it will become a gathering for prayers.

A promotion poster featured the silhouettes of Li and his associate, Gerald Ma, the head of corporate strategy at Li's Cheung Kong (Holdings), describing them as 'mystery guests'. The silhouettes were identified as 'Mr Li' and 'Mr Ma' on the poster.

The source said Tong personally called Law to attend the Thursday meeting.

Tong wanted Law to cancel the event but did not give a reason, according to the source.

'The message in the meeting was that the event would not be appropriate or in the interest of the church,' the source said.

Law decided to follow Tong's instructions as he believed he should be obedient to his superior.

Last night Law declined to comment on the meeting. However, he admitted the Sunday Halloween party would become a gathering for participants to pray together.

'I won't talk about it. It was a talk between two brothers,' he said. 'We talk very often. We both understand each other as we are brothers.'

Law said there were many reasons to cancel the party, but did not elaborate.

Li demanded an apology last year after he was likened to the devil at last year's party. The church initially stood by Law, but later expressed regret for his comments. Law subsequently complained that he felt betrayed by the church.

Dominic Yung Yuk-yu, director of the Catholic dioceses' social communications office, said last night he did not know about the meeting on Thursday. He said the diocese would not interfere in events organised by individual district churches.