President Tsai hopes Pope Francis can visit Taiwan

President congratulates Pontiff on 5th anniversary of his election

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Pope Francis

Pope Francis (By Associated Press)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – Amid concern that the Vatican and China are moving closer to an agreement, President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) said Tuesday she hoped that Pope Francis could visit Taiwan.

Tsai made the statement in a message congratulating the Catholic leader on the fifth anniversary of his election.

The Vatican is Taiwan’s only official diplomatic ally in Europe, but concern has been mounting that as the Church is close to an agreement with China on the appointment of bishops, the relationship is in danger.

Tsai wrote she was honored to represent Taiwan’s people and government to hand their best wishes to the Pontiff, the Central News Agency reported.

The president mentioned the Pope’s help for refugees, promotion of human respect, religious freedom, fairness and world peace, as well as Taiwan’s total support for the values he stood for.

She concluded with the hope that “in a very near future,” she would be able to personally greet the Pope in Taiwan.