Pope Francis sends message of condolence for earthquake in Taiwan

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This 7.4 earthquake—the strongest in 25 years—hit the capital city of Taiwan, killing at least 9 people and injuring more than 1,000.

Pope Francis sent a message expressing his condolences and solidarity for the Taiwanese people.

This year marks 82 years of diplomatic relations between the Vatican and Taiwan. While Pope Francis has not traveled to the country, its president issued him an invitation to visit in 2018. This came after the Vatican reached an agreement with China regarding the appointment of bishops and as China claims Taiwan as part of its terrority, this deal also affects Catholics there.

Taiwanese Ambassador to the Holy See

There is an important purpose for the Holy See to have the agreement with communist China, PRC, not only for the appointment of bishops, but also like Cardinal Parolin said, the Holy See hopes they can make Catholics in China lead a normal, faithful life.

The Vatican is Taiwan's only European diplomatic ally and Pope Francis has often reflected on the importance of maintaining dialogue with Catholics in Asia.

It is not easy to understand the Chinese mentality, but it should be respected, I always respect this. Here in the Vatican, there is a dialogue commission that is going well.
It is a slow process, but steps forward are always being made.

In January, three new bishops were appointed in China as part of this agreement with the Vatican. And, as it is renewed every two years, the deal is up for renewal in 2024.


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