Fri, Mar 01, 2019 - Page 1 News List

Vatican’s special envoy welcomed by President Tsai

Staff writer, with CNA

President Tsai Ing-wen, right, shakes hands with Cardinal Fernando Filoni, Pope Francis’ special envoy, in Taipei yesterday.

Photo: CNA

Pope Francis’ special envoy arrived in Taiwan yesterday to attend the National Eucharistic Congress, a decision which shows that the Vatican deeply cherishes Catholics in Taiwan, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a statement.

Cardinal Fernando Filoni, prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples, is to attend the concluding celebration of the Fourth National Eucharistic Congress in Yunlin County today, the statement said.

At a meeting with Filoni at the Presidential Office Building yesterday, President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) said that Catholics have been a major force for good in Taiwan, where different religions have coexisted and interacted peacefully.

“The Vatican and Taiwan have held several religious meetings. We hope that Filoni’s visit will help further promote mutual understanding and exchanges between the two sides,” Tsai said.

Filoni’s visit is to last until Sunday. He also met with Vice President Chen Chien-jen (陳建仁) yesterday and is due to attend a series of Catholic events, the ministry said.

The congress is a gathering of clergy and lay people to bear witness to the real presence of Jesus in the Eucharist, an important Roman Catholic doctrine, it said.

Since 2011, Taiwan’s seven Catholic dioceses have taken turns hosting the event every two to three years. This year’s congress is being hosted by the Diocese of Chiayi, but is to be staged at Yunlin County Stadium.

The pope in 2016 sent Cardinal Giuseppe Versaldi, prefect of the Congregation for Catholic Education, to attend the Third National Eucharistic Congress, the ministry said.

The visit comes after a group of Taiwanese bishops in May last year held their first ad limina meeting with the pope in 10 years to report on the state of their dioceses.

The bishops invited the pope to visit Taiwan, but he decided to send Filoni instead.

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