The Vatican Under-Secretary for Relations with States won first prize at the annual lottery organized during the National Day of the Republic of China. The prelate is the signer of the agreements between the Vatican and Communist China on episcopal appointments. Ambassador of Taiwan: "Happy with the understanding, this is a purely religious matter".
Rome (AsiaNews) - The Under-Secretary for Relations with States of the Holy See, Msgr. Antoine Camilleri has won a free trip to Taiwan (see photo). The winner was announced yesterday, during the reception offered by the Embassy of the Republic of China to the Vatican on the occasion of the national holiday of the island. It is not clear whether the prelate will go or not: he is the signer of the agreements between Communist China and the Holy See on episcopal appointments in the Asian country.
During the event, which took place at the Urbanianum University, it is customary to organize a small lottery involving all guests. Prizes are offered by business partners and embassy sponsors.
After thanking the guests for their presence, Ambassador Matthew SM Lee gave a speech praising the recent agreements on episcopal appointments: "This is a significant agreement because, for the first time, the Chinese Communist Party recognizes the Pope as leader of the Catholic communities in China, thus breaking its old-fashioned dogmas of “noninterference in Communist China’s domestic affairs from foreign countries,” and “no affiliate relationship between China’s religions and foreign religions.” However, the diplomat stressed that these are "religious, not diplomatic" relationships.
Despite this positive aspect, Lee recalled how Beijing is trying in every way to remove Taiwan from the international community but, citing Taiwan Foreign Minister Joseph Wu who recently said, “Taiwan is the David to China’s Goliath, and we will prevail.” With the assistance of global partners standing up to the rising autocratic authoritarian power, Taiwan will persist, persevere and prevail."
Finally, the diplomat wanted to quote Pope Francis and asked those present to " “accompany our brothers and sisters in Mainland China with fervent prayer and fraternal friendship” along their difficult path of reconciliation and unity, hoping that their sufferings will be alleviated and divisions will be healed as time goes by. As Confucius said in his infinite wisdom: “ The man who moves a mountain begins by carrying away small stones.”".