CATHERINE NG Catholics are to be asked for their views on the Selection Committee to see whether they should be represented on the body that will elect the post-1997 chief executive and help to set up the provisional legislature.
Bishop of Hong Kong, Cardinal John Baptist Wu Cheng-chung, will use the results of the survey to decide whether the church should join the committee.
A quarter of Selection Committee members are to come from the religious communities and the general public.
Two questions will be asked: should Catholics join the committee; and, if yes, who should be their representatives? Priests from more than 60 parishes will canvass the opinions of thousands of parishioners this month.
Mary Seung, director of the Catholic Social Communication Office, said Cardinal Wu had attended six seminars with the clergy and church representatives.
The participants were divided on the issue, Ms Seung said.
'The legality of the provisional legislature is the major stumbling block to reaching consensus,' she said.
'Some believed it was without legal basis, but some had reservations and refused to make a decision because they were not legal experts.' Ms Seung noted that Cardinal Wu wanted more people to participate.
Besides the parishes, other organisations, such as the Catholic Justice and Peace Commission, and Catholic Youth Council, are also to carry out consultations.
In middle of the month, these organisations will join Protestant groups to launch a bigger survey.