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    » 09/03/2012, 00.00

    TAIWAN - CHINA - VATICAN

    Farewell to Card Paul Shan

    Xin Yage

    Vatican officials, Hong Kong cardinals and local political and religious leaders took part in the ceremony. President Ma Ying-jeou sends a memento to remember the late prelate. Many indigenous Taiwanese and young people attend the funeral. People are moved by his final, videotaped words, "with my two empty hands with which I can carry only what I did during my life."

    Taipei (AsiaNews) - More than 5,000 people took part in Card Shan Kuo-hsi's funeral on Saturday. Vatican officials, two cardinals from Hong Kong and other religious as well as political leaders attended the ceremony, which was held in the gym of St Dominic High School in Kaohsiung.

    During the service, Mgr Liu Cheng-chung (劉掁忠), bishop of Kaohsiung, explained that "having made a vow of poverty, Shan Kuo-hsi asked for a simple funeral without pomp and ceremony." Only candles and the crucifix were allowed, no flowers or fancy decorations were accepted.

    His 86-year-old sister Shan Ai-yun (單愛雲)came from the mainland to give her beloved brother a final farewell. Mgr Savio Hon Tai-Fai (韓大輝), secretary of the Congregation for the Evangelisation of Peoples, Card Joseph Zen Ze-kiun (陳日君), former bishop of Hong Kong as well as Hong Kong's other cardinal, Mgr John Tong Hon (湯漢), were also present at the service.

    Taiwanese President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) sent a plaque in memory of the late cardinal, as a token of his gratitude for the cardinal's contribution to Taiwanese society.

    Buddhist Master Xing Yun (釋星雲) also thanked Cardinal Shan for the friendship and generosity he showed to the people of Taiwan as builder of peace and a great educator. "Humble and merciful, he was a truly great friend."

    Mgr Paul Russell, the delegate of the Holy See to Taiwan, read a message of deep sorrow from the Secretary of State Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone for the loss of the great evangeliser, a great point of reference among Chinese Catholics.

    Many ordinary believers, including many Taiwanese aborigines in their traditional clothing, came from various parts of the island to pay their respects.

    As bishop of Hualian and Kaohsiung, the cardinal was well known and appreciated. He was especially held in high esteem because of his tireless visits to young people and the many conferences in which he bore witness to his faith and love for life in his last few years when, already suffering from the disease that would eventually take him, he became an example of hope.

    The most moving moment in the funeral came when a recorded video was played in which Card Shan spoke reassuringly to his flock. "I fought and I have no remorse for my battle for life. I have had ups and downs and I ask for forgiveness from the bottom of my heart for things I have not done well."

    With his usual humour, he thanked participants, and told them, "I now lay in my coffin with my two empty hands, with which I can carry only what I accomplished in my life."  (如今躺在棺材中兩手空空,能帶去的只是一生的功過而已).

    At one point, emotions became overwhelming when for the last time, the bishop could be seen and his calm voice heard for a last time.

    Along with adults and senior citizens, many young people were present to show how much the cardinal had trust in them. This is a sign of great hope for the Church in Taiwan.

     

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    See also

    08/03/2005 TAIWAN - CHINA - VATICAN
    The anti-secession bill does not serve peace, says Cardinal Shan
    The bill that authorises use of force shows that the military is getting stronger in Beijing, says the prelate. Christians on both sides of the strait must work closely for reconciliation.

    24/08/2012 TAIWAN - CHINA - VATICAN
    Card. Shan's work for youth of Taiwan and mainland China
    The cardinal's funeral will be held on 1 September. In attendance Cardinals of Hong Kong, John Tong and Joseph Zen. Admired by politicians and applauded by the young, Card. Shan has worked for reconciliation between Taiwan and China, providing places for encounter and culture at Fu Ren for seminarians. The Archbishop of Taipei’s memories.

    22/08/2012 TAIWAN – CHINA – VATICAN
    Card Paul Shan, the great evangeliser and unifier of the Church in China, has died
    He was made a cardinal by Pope John Paul II. He always worked for reconciliation in China. In the final years of his life, despite his cancer, he never spared himself to preach the faith and evangelisation. A mainland priest remembers him with emotion. He will be remembered by Chinese Catholics.

    23/08/2012 TAIWAN - CHINA - VATICAN
    Taiwan remembers Card. Shan, communicator of the faith, even during illness
    Press, TV, people of importance and the humble recall this figure, his commitment to interfaith dialogue and helping the poor. Great supporter of the media as a tool for evangelization. Even in sickness he helped many to discover the faith and love within pain.

    23/08/2012 VATICAN - TAIWAN
    Pope's sorrow for the death of Card Paul Shan Kuo-hsi
    In a telegram to the bishop of Kaohsiung, (Taiwan), Benedict XVI remembers the service the cardinal dedicated to the Church. Born in mainland China, he entered the Jesuit order in Beijing. The late cardinal had been general relator to the Special Assembly for Asia of the Synod of Bishops.



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