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Taiwan archbishop to extend invitation to Pope Francis for visit

2018/05/11 19:33:02

Photo courtesy of the Embassy of the Republic of China (Taiwan) to the Holy See

Vatican City, May 11 (CNA) Taiwan Parish Archbishop Hung Shan-chuan (洪山川) said Thursday that he plans to invite Pope Francis to visit the country for a church congress next year when he meets him next week.

Speaking at a reception hosted by the Republic of China (Taiwan) Ambassador to the Holy See Matthew S.M. Lee (李世明) that evening, the archbishop remarked that no Pope has ever visited Taiwan and therefore he will extend an invitation when he receives an audience with the Pope, which is expected to take place on May 14.

Even if the Pope can not make a special visit, a short stopover as part of an overseas trip would mean a lot to the people of Taiwan, Hung said.

He was later quoted in a Reuters report as saying he liked to "dream the impossible."

On Tuesday, Hung and a delegation of Taiwanese bishops arrived in Rome on their way to Vatican City for an ad limina visit, which involves visiting the tombs of the apostles and reporting on work in their dioceses to the Pope.

Paul Richard Gallagher, the Holy See's secretary for relations with states who also attended the event, said no bishops from Taiwan have been to the Vatican for the past 10 years, including the tenure of Pope Francis.

Taiwanese bishops can use this rare opportunity to express their concerns about any church issues in Taiwan to the Pope, Gallagher said, while also thanking the people of Taiwan for their generous contribution to humanitarian assistance the world over.

The seven bishops are 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).

(By Huang Ya-shih and Ko Lin)