Pope Francis has appointed Bishop Thomas An-Zu Chung as the next metropolitan archbishop of Taipei, Taiwan.
Bishop Chung, who currently serves as the bishop of Chiayi, will replace Archbishop John Hung Shan-chuan, who has retired at the age of 76.
The Holy See has also directed Bishop Chung to serve as the apostolic administrator of the Matzu Islands, an archipelago of 36 islands in the East China Sea, and the Kinmen Islands, located under four miles from the mainland People’s Republic of China.
Sixty-seven-year-old Bishop Chung was born in Yunlin, Taiwan, and ordained a priest at the age of 29. In 2006, Pope Benedict XVI appointed him as a bishop. He served as an auxiliary bishop for the Taipei archdiocese from 2006 to 2008 before named the bishop of Chiayi.
Metropolitan Archbishop of Taipei oversees the largest city on the island of Taiwan with 7.4 million people.
The title “metropolitan bishop” refers to the diocesan bishop or archbishop of a metropolis -- the primary city of an ecclesiastical province or regional capital. There are more than 550 metropolitan archdioceses worldwide.
The Holy See is the only remaining country in Europe that recognizes Taiwan as a country. The Vatican had formal diplomatic relations with it since 77 years.