Savio Tai Fai Hon

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The Most Reverend [1][2]
Savio Tai-Fai Hon
Secretary of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples
Native name 韓大輝
Church Roman Catholic Church
Appointed 23 December 2010
Predecessor Robert Sarah
Other posts Titular Archbishop of Sila
Ordination 17 July 1982
by John Baptist Wu Cheng-chung
Consecration 5 February 2011
by Pope Benedict XVI
Personal details
Born (1950-10-21) 21 October 1950 (age 64)
British Hong Kong
Nationality People's Republic of China[citation needed]
Denomination Roman Catholic
Alma mater University of London
Pontifical Salesian University
Motto Hilarem Datorem Diligit Deus
Huānxīn jiāofù, zhǔài chángcún
Styles of
Savio Tai Fai Hon
Coat of arms of Savio Hon Tai Fai.svg
Reference style The Most Reverend[1]
Spoken style Your Excellency[2]
Religious style Archbishop

Savio Tai Fai Hon SDB (Chinese: 韓大輝, Hán Dàhuī; born 21 October 1950) is a Roman Catholic archbishop and the current secretary of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples since his appointment by Pope Benedict XVI on 23 December 2010.[3] He had previously served as professor of Theology at the Holy Spirit Seminary of Hong Kong.


Hon was born in Hong Kong. After studying a Salesian school, he made his first religious profession on 15 August 1969. He made perpetual vows on 15 August 1975 and was ordained a priest in Hong Kong 17 July 1982. He received his BA in philosophy from University of London and a doctorate in theology at Rome's Pontifical Salesian University.

Hon worked as a teaching as visiting professor at various seminaries in China. The scientific work has appeared in various publications, especially of Theology. His work has overseen the translation into Chinese of the Catechism of the Catholic Church. He belongs to the Salesian Province of China which encompasses mainland China, Hong Kong, Macau, and Taiwan.

Hon became a member of the Pontifical Academy of Theology in 1999. He has served as a member of the International Theological Commission since 2004. He had been serving as professor of theology at the seminary of Hong Kong when on 23 December 2010 he was appointed Titular Archbishop of Sila, and secretary of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples by Pope Benedict XVI. Archbishop-elect Hon Tai-Fai succeeds Robert Sarah, who was appointed as president of the Pontifical Council Cor Unum

Hon Tai-Fai said he received notification just hours before the Holy See Press Office made the official announcement. He said his “first thing to do now is to pray for God’s grace to become a suitable tool.” Father Hon Tai Fai has known the pope for many years, since the then-Cardinal Ratzinger was ex officio president of the International Theological Commission in his role as prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.[4]

Archbishop Hon was ordained to the episcopate in Rome on 5 February 2011 by Pope Benedict along with Archbishop Marcello Bartolucci, Secretary of the Congregation of the Causes of Saints who was named on the same day as Celso Morga Iruzubieta was appointed as Secretary of the Congregation of the Clergy. The co-consecrators were Angelo Cardinal Sodano and Tarcisio Cardinal Bertone. Archbishop Hon said during his ordination: "I could feel an airstream when the pope laid his hands with strength on my head", adding that this rite is to pray for the Holy Spirit's guidance to the candidate to pass on the apostolic succession.[5]

In March 2011, Hon said the planned ordainations priests by the Chinese Patriotic Catholic Association means, "division [...] causes great pain to the entire body ... [the] whole body is scarred and bleeding." No bishop can be appointed canonically without a papal mandate. He continued by adding that those who have resisted the will of the party, such as Mgr Li Lianghui (Cangzhou, Hebei) are now in isolation, forced to undergo political re-education classes. He insists that Chinese priests and bishops must show “some backbone” and resist the pressures out of love for Church unity, and the memory of the many heroic witnesses to the faith of the past decades. Hon has pursued the release from prison of two imprisoned bishops (Mgr James Su Zhimin of Baoding and Mgr Cosma Shi Enxiang of Yixian), with little success to date.[6]

In July 2011, Archbishop Hon, while addressing hundreds of delegates from Eastern Africa (AMECEA) during the 17th plenary assembly in Nairobi, stressed the ever increasing role of the lay faithful in evangelization. He said "Given that between 70% -80% of our church collaborators are women, AMECEA should make the effort to increase room for them in decision making processes", he said. He warned against the culture of death especially abortion and other "ideological poisons from abroad", which are leading to the erosion of certain African values whose sense of family the church supports. “AMECEA as a community of Christians has been useful in promoting the family beyond the limits of blood relationship and tribal allegiance", he said, in reference to the many inter-ethnic conflicts engulfing the region.[7]

Hon Tai-Fai, speaking at a priestly ordaintion said that there are three identities that a priest must incarnate: missionary, mediator and martyr.[8] On 7 March 2012 he was appointed a member of the Pontifical Committee for the International Euchrastic Congresses. On 12 June 2012, he was appointed a member of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity.[9]


Catholic Church titles
Preceded by
Robert Sarah
Secretary of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples
23 December 2010 – present