Taiwan’s ambassador to Holy See reaffirms commitment to promoting diplomatic ties

Taiwan’s ambassador to Holy See reaffirms commitment to promoting diplomatic ties



24 September 2018.

Taiwan is committed to promoting ties with ally the Holy See and has been assured by high-level Vatican officials that any potential agreement with China on the appointment of bishops carries no political or diplomatic connotations, Ambassador to the Holy See Matthew S. M. Lee said Sept. 17. In an interview with Taiwan’s Central News Agency, Lee advised against overinterpreting the possible deal. Pope Francis is seeking to protect Catholic believers suffering in China, he said, adding that the Vatican aims to uphold its ecclesiastical hierarchy, afford followers the chance to live a normal life of faith and alleviate pressure on the Catholic community.

According to Lee, through signing an accord, the Vatican hopes that Beijing will start to honor freedom of religion. China’s long march to democracy and freedom must begin with small steps, such as those resulting from this agreement, he said. The pact would allow the Chinese Catholic Church to form an integral part of the international Catholic community, Lee said. Going forward, Taiwan remains committed to advancing its diplomatic partnership with the Holy See, he added.

This year marks the 76th anniversary of ties between the Taiwan and the Holy See, with the two sides continuing to cooperate in promoting human development on the basis of the guiding principles of the Catholic Church.