TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Pope Francis on Monday (Feb. 8) sent his blessings to the people of Taiwan for the upcoming Lunar New Year holiday.
During his annual foreign policy meeting with ambassadors from around the world, Pope Francis met with the Taiwanese envoy to the Holy See, Li Shih-ming (李世明), who extended greetings to the Catholic leader on behalf of President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文). In response, the Pope wished the Taiwanese a good start to the lunar year and promised to continue to pray for the East Asian nation.
The Pope had canceled multiple public appearances recently due to recurring sciatic nerve pain. However, he appeared to be in good spirits and full of energy on Monday, CNA cited Li as saying.
In his address to the diplomatic corps, the Pope described 2020 as a year of "despair" and said the world is "seriously ill" as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. He added that the outbreak had shed light on "the risks and consequences inherent in a way of life dominated by selfishness and a culture of waste."
The Pope urged the global community to ensure the equal distribution of coronavirus vaccines as well as universal access to basic health care. He also mentioned the coup in Myanmar last week, calling for the release of detained political leaders and a "sincere dialogue" between them and the country's military.
Taiwan's envoy to the Holy See, Li Shih-ming. (CNA photo)