Taipei (AsiaNews) - The funeral
of Cardinal Shan Kuo-Hsi will be celebrated in a simple manner, "just like
those of the poor " on September 1 in Kaohsiung, where the cardinal lived
in recent years after being bishop of the same city. It
will be attended by the two cardinals of Hong Kong, John Tong, Bishop of the
city, and Card. Joseph Zen.
Yesterday morning a funeral Mass was held in Taipei, which was attended by the mayor of the city, Hao Longpin (郝龍斌), staying for the entire celebration, while not being a Christian and despite having other pressing administrative tasks.
Speaking with Father Rao (饒神父), pastor of Holy Family, the church where the celebration was held, Hao Longpin repeated several times how "Shan Kuo-Hsi was a great friend and a constant encouragement to always find a solution other than confrontation, a way out of problems through collaboration and creativity... just look at what he did the same for young people in recent years despite, or perhaps its better to say 'thanks' to his own illness ".
The moral and spiritual legacy of Shan Kuo-Hsi is particularly important for young Chinese. At the level of the Church, Card. Shan always spoke of unity and reconciliation, stressing the futility of any conflict. In the same way always stressed the importance of openness in education, especially for university students in Taiwan. As President of the Catholic Fu Ren (輔仁大學), located in what is now called New Taipei City (新北市), he always pushed the island students to compete with those of mainland China to enrich their formation and open their minds through new exchanges and friendships, of mutual benefit. Prof. Zhan Delong (詹德隆), current dean of the faculty of theology at Fu Ren, told us: "He was concerned with the formation of priests and seminarians of the continent, as well as those on the island. He said that we can make many proclamations and dreams about the future, but the protagonists are the students that we have today in our classrooms. In a few years he managed to organize an exchange between students of the two sides of the Strait, and even students of theology from the mainland come here to our faculty: This is an enrichment for all , to refine and compare individual experiences, from which especially the Taiwanese students can benefit. "
The Archbishop of Taipei, Msgr. Hong Shanchuan (洪山川) testifies that "there are people who push you to look ahead, to be positive and proactive, not to surrender to obstacles: Shan Kuo-Hsi was one of these people." The archbishop and the cardinal had appeared together on August 4, and it was also the last public appearance of the cardinal. It was the ordination of a young priest originally from Malaysia and who is having a huge impact on the university students in Taipei, having studied liberal arts and drama at the National Political University, (政治大學) among the top universities in Taiwan. Last year, the Cardinal had promised to preside over the ordination of this young extraordinary talent. However, being forced to a wheelchair, the cardinal could only be present at the side of the altar, while the ordination was presided over by the archbishop. To demonstrate how the Cardinal Shan was loved by the young people, the moment of the embrace between Pedro, the new priest, and the Cardinal was accompanied by a strong applause from many of the students present at the ordination. A young American friend, for the first time in Taiwan, who was sitting next to me, looked at me surprised and said: "Apart from Pedro and Jesus Christ, the one in the wheelchair is the other rock star of the day."