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Top mainland religious officials visit Taiwan
Taipei archbishop gives visitors a lesson in Catholic conductArchbishop John Hung Shan-chuan (far left) meets mainland religious leaders in Taipei (UCAN Photo)
- Francis Kuo, Taipei
- January 12, 2011
Liu Yuanlong, who was re-elected secretary-general of the CCPA at the controversialÂ Catholic national congress in December, was one of 10 delegates from the China Committee of Religion and Peace.
High-level mainland officials and religious groups are making more visits to Taiwan with the hope â€śto enhance understanding, harmony and peace through these kinds of exchanges, and eventually moving towards unification,â€ť said Liu, 56, who is also a new vice chairperson of the CCPA.
â€śThe universal Church is one Church. There is no difference in faith. This normal reason [of exchange] does not touch on faith,â€ť he told ucanews.com when asked to explain what he meant by "unification."
â€śThere are now many misunderstandings, which have hurt the mainland Church,â€ť Liu said.
He said it was important to have mutual understanding across the straits.
In their 30-minute meeting, Archbishop Hung told the delegation that Taiwan Catholics follow the Church hierarchy and are in communion with the Holy See.
The Taiwan government treats all religions equally and the religious personnel and faithful receive judicial punishment only when they violate the law, he said.
Catholics have â€śdouble duties to love the Church and to love the countryâ€ť while the government â€śdoes not intrude the Churchâ€™s internal affairs, such as liturgy, doctrine and personnel appointment.â€ť
He also told the delegation the greatest contribution of the local Church was service to society. It undertakes half the social work in the territory, mostly through the work of foreign missioners.
The China Committee of Religion and PeaceÂ operates under the Ethnic and Religions Committee of theÂ Chinese Peopleâ€™s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC), the top advisory body of the Chinese government.
The 10 delegates were all CPPCC members.
The mainland committee was formed by faithful of different religions in 1994 and is an affiliate of theÂ World Conference of Religions for Peace.
The Jan. 8-15 visit was led by Dao Shuren, vice chairman of the Chinese Buddhist Association. The group will also visit the Tainan diocese and Cardinal Paul Shan Kuo-hsi, the retired bishop of Kaohsiung, in southern Taiwan.
The visit took place four months after Archbishop Hung and Cardinal Shan received Wang Zuoâ€™an, director of the State Administration for Religious Affairs (SARA) in mainland China last September.
This time the mainland delegation was invited byÂ the Chinese Religious Faithful Association. The association was formed by late Cardinal Paul Yupin in 1943 in Chongqing (Chungking) and was reopened in Taiwan later.
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