Taipei (AsiaNews) - At least 90 scholars from around the world gathered yesterday at Fu Ren University (Xinzhuang, Taipei) for one of the most encyclopaedic conferences on the figure of the Jesuit missionary Matteo Ricci, 400 years after his death in Beijing 11 May 1610.
The experts include people from the West - including two PIME missionaries Fr Angelo Lazzarotto And Fr Gianni Criveller - but above all academics of note from mainland China. Taiwan's ambassador to the Holy See, Larry Wang Yu-yuan, was among the first to speak at the opening ceremony, stressing the value of this cultural and religious relationship between the two sides of the Strait.
The symposium lasts 4 days and will analytically study the various historical aspects of the environment of China at the time of Matteo Ricci and his Jesuit successors (Ming and Qing dynasty), the missionary methods of the time, with talks on the situation of the Church in contemporary China .
The symposium also received a message from Card. Angelo Sodano, dean of the College of Cardinals. In it the prelate points out that the memory of Matteo Ricci is still alive "among those who saw in him the genius of a great personality, who managed to discover and appreciate the great cultural and spiritual traditions of the Chinese people." Card. Sodano also emphasizes that Matteo Ricci was "first and foremost a herald of the Gospel of Christ."
A bronze statue dedicated to Matteo Ricci was also unveiled yesterday Fu Ren University.