Chinese archbishop to visit Taiwan
New Vatican official to make pastoral visit
ucanews.com reporter, Taipei
February 15, 2011
Father Otfried Chan, secretary of the Chinese Regional Bishops’ Conference, said it is the duty of newly-ordained Archbishop Hon, the first Chinese to take up a senior post in the Vatican, to make a pastoral visit. He is second in charge at the missionary office of the Vatican, Taiwan’s sole diplomatic partner in Europe.
“He is not alien to Taiwan’s language and culture and thus, making his first pastoral visit here is a good start,” said Father Chan.
“The Church in Taiwan enjoys freedom and openness. Our various services could let the archbishop better understand the Church in the Chinese community,” he added.
The archbishop plans to meet with local bishops, representatives of religious men and women, indigenous clergy, migrant workers and Church workers who serve the migrants from February 23 to 27.
He will visit the Taiwan Catholic Regional Seminary and Fu Jen Catholic University, two educational institutes in New Taipei city, northern Taiwan.
Archbishop Hon will also travel to southern Taiwan to celebrate Mass at the Immaculate Conception Minor Basilica in Wanchin village and to visit fellow Salesians and their Boys’ Town.
Father John Baptist Chen Shing-yeh, vice-rector of the Salesian-run Tainan St Joseph House, told ucanews.com that Taiwan people, whether Catholic or not, feels glory to see Archbishop Hon appointed and feel a link with him as he once studied in Taiwan.
Archbishop Hon was the provincial of the Salesian China province, covering Hong Kong, Macau, Taiwan and mainland China, from 2001 to 2006.
Before the Taiwan trip, Hon is expected to visit his home in Hong Kong, where he will celebrate Mass for parishioners of the Salesian-managed St Anthony’s Church on February 17 and attend celebrations hosted by the Salesian society and the Hong Kong diocese on February 19 and 20 respectively.
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