Taiwan Bishops Suggest New Year Resolutions

Emphasize Importance of Ongoing Formation

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TAIPEI, Taiwan, FEB. 19, 2010 (Zenit.org).- Taiwan bishops have made New Year recommendations for both priests and laity, inviting the faithful to maintain the momentum from last year’s celebrations marking the 150th anniversary of the first evangelization of the island.

The Chinese Regional Bishops Conference in Taiwan made this invitation in a pastoral letter to mark the Lunar New Year, which started last Sunday.

The letter deals with evangelization, the Year for Priests and environmental issues, particularly encouraging priests and laity to continue educating and forming themselves, so they may work together to proclaim the Kingdom of God.

The bishops urged laity and priests to maintain an every-growing knowledge of the deposit of faith.

With the «different ideologies nowadays,» they wrote, «every Christian should have a deeper knowledge in catechesis, biblical sciences and theological studies, that they may make a defense to everyone who asks for an account of the hope within them.»

The bishops encouraged the faithful to be active in seeking out tools of formation.

«Faithful should choose some suitable courses, seminars, books, magazines, Web sites and the like for themselves, to deepen their understandings in the faith, and have the confidence to preach,» the bishops said.

Recognizing that Christianity is a minority in Taiwan, the bishops emphasized the importance of proclamation. «Taiwan is a multi-faith society; we should maintain a friendly dialogue with those other religious followers. However, to participate in interreligious dialogue by no means implies to abandon proclamation. Jesus Christ should be mentioned at the dialogue,» the prelates affirmed.

Taiwan is, in fact, less than 5% Christian. The Church there is composed of one archdiocese, six dioceses and one apostolic prefecture, with around 300,000 Catholics.


Drawing on the Year for Priests, the bishops urged priests to maintain a spirit of communion even if there are conflicts in work with the laity. They gave the concrete exhortation to always keep an even temper in front of laypeople and Church staff.

Other recommendations were more spiritual: to live a simple life at this time when the gap between poor and rich is widening.

And a practical invitation was also made: to prepare the Sunday homily with care, because it is the only occasion in which many busy faithful taste the Word of God.

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