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Rome Reports

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Taiwanese bishops meet Pope Francis for first time during ad limina visit

During the Taiwanese Bishops' first ad limina visit in Rome for 10 years, they all took time to introduce themselves to Pope Francis. 

“Bishop Philip Huang, from Diocese of Hualien. Nice to meet you.”

Some even took the opportunity to give him gifts. 

“Your Holiness, nice to meet you. I am John Lee from Hsinchu Diocese.”

Then, the pope gleefully went and sat in the midst of the seven bishops in attendance. They spoke about their upcoming Eucharistic Congress of Taiwan in 2019.

The bishops also presented two gifts to the pope. The first was a piece of art from the Franz Porcelain Collection based on work by Giuseppe Castiglione, an Italian missionary who served as a Qing court painter. The second piece was a large painting by Taiwanese artist Shen Chen.

The topics of conversation also likely touched on the relationship between the Vatican and Beijing, since the pope has spoken of his desire for better relations with China. 

Yet, this meeting confirms the Holy See's good-standing relationship with Taiwan, which is the country's only European diplomatic ally. However, if the situation with Beijing advances, many fear the Vatican's ties with Taiwan will end.