Taiwanese Bishops Urged to Foster Ties with Beijing

VATICAN CITY, JAN. 29, 2002 (Zenit.org).- John Paul II today urged the bishops of Taiwan to become heralds of reconciliation between Beijing and Taipei.

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The island´s bishops were in Rome for their quinquennial “ad limina” visit. The Holy Father referred to the bishops´ efforts “aimed at promoting mutual understanding, reconciliation and fraternal love among all the Catholics of the great Chinese family.”

“I am confident that these efforts, carried out in communion with other particular Churches and the See of Peter, will help to overcome the difficulties of the past, so that ever-new opportunities for dialogue and reciprocal human and spiritual enrichment may arise,” the Holy Father said, referring to the People´s Republic of China.

Meanwhile, a Taiwanese bishop who participated in the Day of Prayer for Peace said the Jan. 24 event offered an important lesson for Catholics in China: only forgiveness will bring reconciliation.

Bishop Joseph Wang of Taichung told ZENIT that when he saw the religious leaders in Assisi united by forgiveness and the desire for peace, he understood something crucial: “If there is no forgiveness, there will be no unity between the Church in China, the patriotic association and the underground [Church] faithful to the Pope.”

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