22 February 2018
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  • » 02/01/2018, 17.37


    Taiwanese lawmakers seek audience with Pope Francis

    Five Taiwanese politicians plan to visit the Vatican, Italy and Greece. They are concerned that the possible recognition of unlawful bishops might lead to a diplomatic crisis. The People's Republic of China and the Vatican differ on many things, especially religious freedom, says Foreign Ministry spokesperson Anna Kao.

    Taipei (AsiaNews/Agencies) – A small group of Taiwanese parliamentarians is trying to have an audience with Pope Francis, worried about the diplomatic fate of the island nation after the Vatican recently seems to have taken steps towards the possible recognition of some unlawful bishops accepted by Chinese authorities.

    The Vatican is one of 20 states that still have diplomatic relations with Taiwan instead of the People's Republic of China. In 1951 Mao's China expelled the then nuncio Mgr Antonio Ribeiri, who – after many unheeded requests to return to Beijing – moved to Taipei in 1952.

    For mainland China, Taiwan is a rebel province and has demanded that all countries break off relations with Taiwan.

    The five Taiwanese parliamentarians, including the Hon Tsai Shih-ying, hope to speak with Pope Francis on issues related to relations between Taiwan and the Vatican. Their visit will take them to Italy, the Vatican and Greece.

    Since 2016, when the Progressive Democratic Party’s candidate, Tsai Ing-wen (pictured), won Taiwan’s presidential elections, Beijing has been increasing economic and political pressures on the island, because the president will not recognise the principle of One China, implying that Taiwan is equal to the People's Republic of China.

    Anna Kao, head of the Department of European Affairs at Taiwan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, said that the Ministry is well aware of the ongoing dialogue between the Vatican and Beijing.

    With respect to episcopal appointments, even if there is a breakthrough over such appointments, Kao said there remain huge differences between Beijing and the Vatican on various issues concerning religious freedom.

    By contrast, Taiwan has democracy and freedom, with a vibrant Catholic community, she added.

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    See also

    13/02/2018 10:24:00 CHINA-VATICAN
    Card. Zen: I still don’t understand why they are in dialogue with China

    Reconciliation between official and underground communities may be difficult, but it is possible. The Chinese state aims to build a national and schismatic Church. The Vatican’s veneration of Ostpolitik risks helping Beijing "enslave the Church". The manipulation of the words of Benedict XVI and obedience to Pope Francis.

    23/01/2017 14:14:00 TAIWAN – VATICAN
    Tsai Ying-wen to Pope Francis: Together for non-violence and the status quo across the Taiwan Strait

    The Taiwanese president sent a letter to the pope in response to his Message for World Day of Peace centred on non-violence. She heeds the Holy See’s appeal on behalf of women, children, and migrants, and for aid to refugees and earthquake victims. Taiwan is "a beacon for democracy in Asia." With mainland China, she calls for setting "aside the baggage of history and engage in positive dialogue.”

    13/10/2016 16:55:00 CHINA – VATICAN
    Who is responsible for the chaos in the Catholic Church in China?

    Here is a reflection about Fr Dong Guanhua, who was ordained bishop without papal mandate taking office on September 11. This is an isolated case, condemned by many unofficial bishops. The underground Church has remained loyal to the Holy See for decades. Care should be given not to use this case for one’s purposes or to condemn others. The Patriotic Association raises questions of conscience.

    05/02/2016 12:11:00 CHINA - VATICAN
    Pope’s interview on China: enthusiasm and skepticism among Chinese Catholics. Some priests face police pressure

    State newspapers and radio report on Pope Francis’ interview with Asia Times. There are those who dream of an impending papal visit to China. Underground priests subjected to interrogation. Appreciation for "the olive branch" extended by the Pope and for his pointing out the value of Chinese culture. But skepticism surrounds Beijing leadership’s response. The dialogue between China and the Vatican cannot bring results, because there are different interests at play, both political and religious. Diplomatic relations cannot come at the cost of the freedom of the Church and the sacrifices of its martyrs. The Chinese Church is growing.

    21/08/2014 CHINA-VATICAN
    Chinese experts: cautious openings in relations with Vatican
    Zhuo Xinping, of the Academy of Social Sciences in Beijing says Pope Francis "will improve" relations being "a Jesuit" and "Latin American". Li Xiangping speaks of a "new atmosphere". But Party press do not report on the Pope’s statements or telegrams. A website recalls the "two mountains" to be overcome: diplomatic relations with Taiwan and "interference" in the internal affairs of China. Generic statements of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesman.

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