TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Pope Francis is still paying attention to Taiwan, the new archbishop of Taipei, Thomas Chung An-zu (鍾安住), said at his inauguration Saturday (July 18).
The conclusion of a deal between the Vatican, Taiwan’s only official diplomatic ally in Europe, and China on Sept. 22, 2018, has repeatedly caused concern that Pope Francis might move the Catholic Church closer to a break with the democratic island in favor of the communist dictatorship. In the agreement, the two sides agreed to the recognition by Rome of bishops appointed by Beijing but also to the right of veto by the Pontiff over their appointment.
Chung, 67, said that Taiwan should not worry about any renewed talks this month between the Vatican and China to extend the agreement beyond September, as Pope Francis would continue to show concern for the island, CNA reported.
The fact that the acting nuntius in Taiwan, Arnaldo Catalan, presided over Saturday’s ceremony was evidence of the Pope’s , according to the new archbishop.
The inauguration of the eighth archbishop of Taipei took place at the Fu Jen Catholic University in New Taipei City in the presence of an estimated 1,000 guests, including President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) and former Vice President Chen Chien-jen (陳建仁), a prominent Catholic who met with the Pope during a Vatican visit in Oct. 2019.
The location at the university had been chosen because the former bishop of Chiayi was in charge of the dialogue between the Church and youth.