Taipei (AsiaNews/UCAN) Msgr. Joseph Cheng Tsai-fa, Taipei's new archbishop, took office last Jan. 24 after serving the dioceses of Tainan for 41 years. He explained to the press that the basic principles of his rule will be Christian education and the moral groundings of Chinese tradition.
The archbishop said, "Our moral and ethical values are eroded and in decline. Our society is becoming materialistic and utilitarian. It is important to focus on traditional aspects of Chinese culture, like respect for our parents and teachers, passing them on to our Catholic culture as well."
The prelate, who is also the president of the Bishops' Commission for Education and Culture in Taiwan, said in addition that such values will be passed on to island's numerous Catholic schools.
Msgr. Cheng replaces archbishop Joseph Ti-Kang, who retired after going over the age limit established for bishops. Msgr. Ti-Kang will, at any rate, continue to live in the bishop's palace. Catholics expressed their admiration for archbishop Ti-Kang's work, whose 18 years as head of the dioceses coincided with a period of great social change on the island.The Taipei diocese has over 82,000 Catholics and more than 300 religious. The new archbishop, when reflecting on the amount of work that awaits him, said: "It's as if I had captained a sampan for all my life, and now I have to begin piloting an airplane. But, anyway, my role is that of following the Holy Father's decisions."