The Effect of the Turnover on the Catholic Church in Hong Kong

Patrick Chi-Wai Tsui :

Mentor: Lowell Dittmer, Professor of Political Science and Thomas Gold, Associate Professor of Sociology

Patrick's research will focus on the status of the Catholic Church in Hong Kong in the wake of the former colony's 1997 return to the People's Republic of China (PRC). Since 1949, the Vatican has refused to recognize the PRC'S Catholic Church, maintaining its only ties to China through the two European colonies on its southeastern coast: Hong Kong and Macao. Through historical research and contemporary interviews and field-study in Beijing and Hong Kong, Patrick will both examine the historical relationships between the Catholic Church in mainland China and the Vatican-sponsored Church in Hong Kong and explore the possible relationships that may now develop between the Chinese Communist Party and the Hong Kong Catholic Church. His research will also shed light on the larger issues surrounding the Chinese Communist Party's attitudes toward religious freedom, providing another angle of perspective into the liberalization and possible democratization of the People's Republic of China now underway.