Rome, Sept. 17 (CNA) An agreement between the Vatican and China on the appointment of bishops would hopefully help open up a new page for Catholics in China while ensuring the protection of the universal value of religious freedom, Republic of China (Taiwan) Ambassador to the Holy See Matthew S.M. Lee (李世明) said recently.
Lee's comments came in the wake of speculation by foreign media that a landmark agreement intended to bring together China's state-backed and unauthorized Catholic communities will likely occur later this month.
In an exclusive interview with CNA, Lee said the embassy is paying very close attention to developments between the Vatican and China, but added that that the agreement is purely on religious matters.
"We hope it will give Chinese people a chance to lead a normal life of faith, reduce the oppression of Chinese Catholics, and in turn help promote religious freedom throughout China," he explained.
He again elaborated that the agreement is purely on religious matters and asked others not to overinterpret the matter.
The Vatican is the only European state to recognize the Republic of China, rather than the People's Republic of China. It's also one of 17 remaining diplomatic allies Taiwan has, after it lost five since President Tsai Ing-wen took office in May 2016.