Fri, May 11, 2018 - Page 3 News List

Seven bishops visiting Vatican to meet the pope

Staff writer, with CNA

A delegation of seven Taiwanese bishops pose for a photograph in the Vatican on Tuesday.

Photo: CNA

A delegation of seven Taiwanese bishops arrived in Rome on Tuesday on their way to the Vatican for an ad limina visit, which involves visiting the tombs of the apostles and reporting on work in their dioceses to the pope.

Ambassador to the Holy See Matthew Lee (李世明) greeted the delegation at the airport and talked briefly with the bishops — Taiwan Parish Archbishop Hung Shan-chuan (洪山川), Kaohsiung Archbishop Liu Cheng-chung (劉振忠), Hsinchu Parish Bishop Li Keh-mien (李克勉), Taichung Bishop Su Yao-wen (蘇耀文), Chiayi Bishop Chung An-chu (鍾安住), Tainan Bishop Lin Chi-nan (林吉男) and Hualien Bishop Huang Chao-ming (黃兆明) — before they headed to the Vatican.

The seven have not visited the Vatican in 10 years and this is their first ad limina visit during the tenure of Pope Francis, Lee said.

They will visit several departments of the Roman Curia and receive an audience with the pope, Lee said.

The bishops are grateful for the pope’s expressions of solicitude for Taiwan and said that while rumors are rife about relations between Taiwan and the Holy See, many are simply without foundation, Lee said.

Over the past year, the pope has sent high-ranking officials to Taiwan to participate in international exchange activities.

He has also offered prayers to the Taiwanese public every time there was a natural disaster, Lee said.

The bishops thanked the government for the importance it attaches to their visit, as President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) met with them before they left.

Vice President Chen Chien-jen (陳建仁) also hosted a dinner to express the government’s support for Catholicism and the importance it attaches to Taiwan-Vatican relations.

The delegation has prepared two gifts for the pope — a Franz porcelain piece based on a painting by Giuseppe Castiglione, an Italian missionary who served as a Qing court painter, and a painting by Taiwanese artist Shen Chen (沈禎).

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