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Mainlanders meet Taiwan cardinal for talks
Cross-straits religious relations top of the agendaCardinal Paul Shan Kuo-hsi (second left) and Archbishop Peter Liu Cheng-chung of Kaohsiung (far left) receive mainland religious officials led by Dao Shuren (far right)
- Margarita Chen, Kaohsiung
- January 14, 2011
The 10-member delegation of the China Committee of Religion and Peace is on a tour of TaiwanÂ meeting different established religions fromÂ Jan. 8-15.
They visited the cardinal at the Kaoshiung diocesan curia in southern Taiwan to enhance exchanges between religions across straits. Archbishop Peter Liu Cheng-chung of Kaohsiung, his vicar general and two lay leaders were also at the meeting
Dao Shuren, vice-chairman of the Chinese Buddhist Association who led the delegation, told the Taiwan Church leaders that economic development in recent decades has driven the development of social services in the religious sector.
The five major religions on the mainland have more than 100 millions faithful, he said.
Cardinal Shan introduced the guests to the Churchâs services for the elderly and in medical care. Archbishop Liu and a layperson wereÂ appointed as consultors to the Pontifical Council of Medical Care last week.
The retired bishop of Kaohsiung also spoke of his lecture tour talking aboutÂ cultural of life which he launched after being diagnosed with lung cancer in 2006.
âI was estimated to have three to four months left at that time and thus I began this âFarewell to Lifeâ lecture. But now, I am still on my farewell tour,â he said.
âMy priority is to speak to the intellectuals, who can in turn influence others.â
The other group he wants to influence are prisoners. âThe society will become stable if the prisoners could change,â said the 88-year-old cardinal.
Cardinal Shan said he and the archbishop are willing to help the mainland nuns, seminarians and priests study in Taiwan.
Seminaries lack resources and it is not easy for people to cope with language and other issues when studying abroad, the cardinal noted.
The mainland committee operates under the Chinese Peopleâs Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC), the top advisory body of the Chinese government.
All the delegates were religious members in the CPPCC. They include Liu Yuanlong, vice-chairperson and secretary general of the Chinese Catholic Patriotic Association.
Liu invited Cardinal Shan to travel to their mutual hometown of Hebei in mainland China, which the prelate last visited in 1975.
Yesterday the delegation visited the Pingan Church museum in Tainan diocese, neighboring Kaohsiung. Bishop Bosco Lin Chi-nan of Tainan was in a monthly retreat with his priests and so there was no official reception to the visitors.
Top mainland religious officials visit Taiwan
Religious official visits Taipei archbishop
Teacher-of-life cardinal awarded doctorate