Holy See reaffirms its partnership with ROC

Staff writer, with CNA, The Vatican

Sat, Oct 07, 2017 - Page 3

The Vatican on Thursday said that it remains committed to its partnership with the Republic of China (ROC), as the two sides mark 75 years of diplomatic relations this month.

In a speech at a banquet to celebrate the ROC’s National Day, Vatican Secretary for Relations with States Archbishop Paul Gallagher said the Holy See would support any constructive dialogue that Taiwan holds with other nations on world peace and for the ultimate benefit of humanity.

Since Taiwan and the Holy See established diplomatic ties in 1942, the bilateral friendship and cooperative relations have remained solid despite many changes in the world, as most foreign Catholic priests and nuns serving in Taiwan have observed, Gallagher said.

He also thanked Taiwan’s Catholic Church for its longstanding contribution to the Vatican, which he said cares very much about the church’s development in Taiwan.

The Vatican will remain a committed partner of Taiwan’s, Gallagher said, in an apparent response to wide speculation that the Holy See might switch diplomatic recognition from Taipei to Beijing, after comments by Cardinal Joseph Zen Ze-kiun (陳日君), bishop emeritus of Hong Kong, that Taiwan should be prepared for such a move.

At the banquet, Ambassador to the Holy See Matthew Lee (李世明) said that Taiwan was doing its best to function as a peacemaker in the Asian region.

“Although cross-strait relations are not perfect, Taiwan can do much more than the world can imagine,” Lee said. “We are not only trying to maintain peace and stability in the region, but are also trying to encourage mainland China to play a respectful role as a major power,” he said.

Lee said that Taiwan treasures its 75 years of relations with the Vatican and that their shared values of religious freedom and world peace are a solid foundation for further building bilateral cooperation.