05/11/2018, 18.39
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Vatican appreciates Taiwan’s 'freedom and religious tolerance'

Matthew Lee, ambassador of the Republic of China, praises the work of the Regional Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Taiwan for its relationship with the Holy See, mainland China and the universal Church.

Vatican City (AsiaNews) – Matthew Lee, ambassador of the Republic of China (Taiwan), welcomed Taiwan’s seven bishops in Rome for their ad limina visit, at a reception in their honour.

In his address, the ambassador said that "Taiwan has a long tradition of freedom of worship that has never been tried as it has in some dioceses. During my meetings with Vatican officials or even with the Holy Father, I often hear praise for the climate of freedom and religious tolerance that characterise Taiwan."

Several cardinals, bishops, priests and friends of Taiwan in the religious and business fields were present at the meeting.

For Taiwan’s bishops, this is their first ad limina visit with Pope Francis. The last one took place ten years ago.

Ambassador Lee stressed the high level of collaboration between the island’s Church and the Holy See, listing a series of initiatives. The latter include the bishops’ visit to Pope Francis’s inauguration and the First Taiwanese Youth Day in 2014 to "shorten" the distance "between young people and God, meeting the wishes of Pope Francis who always cares about young people."

"In 2016, the Bishops’ Conference in collaboration with the Apostolic Nunciature in Taiwan organised the exhibition 'Treasures from Heaven: A special exhibition of artifacts from the Holy See' at the National Palace Museum in Taipei.

"For the first time ever, some of the splendid works of art in the Vatican travelled to Taiwan. This event was very significant for proclaiming the Gospel in Asia and Taiwan."

"The Regional Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Taiwan not only actively promotes pastoral care and evangelisation, but also plays a role of ’bridge Church' between the Church in mainland China and the universal Church."

In concluding, he said, "I would like to take this opportunity to invite you to go to Taiwan and go to every diocese to discover their poignant beauty.”

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