Taiwanese president blessed by Pope Francis' adviser

Member of the Council of Cardinal Advisers prayed for Taiwan to be free of conflict and to continue forward amid dialogue

January 20, 2017
Taiwan's President Tsai Ing-wen met Archbishop Cardinal Oscar Andres Rodriguez Maradiagathe, the coordinator of Pope Francis' advisory body during her recent visit to Central America.

On the second day of her itinerary in Honduras, Tsai attended Mass at the Basilica of Suyapa of Tegucigalpa Archdiocese and received a blessing by Cardinal Maradiaga.

Cardinal Maradiaga is the coordinator of the pope's appointed nine-member Council of Cardinal Advisers, which was created to help the pontiff with reforms to the Roman Curia.

The cardinal, 74, prayed for Taiwan to be "free of conflict and continue moving forward amid dialogue." Cardinal Maradiaga also asked God to bless Taiwan and see that the country receives its just reward for all the assistance it has provided Honduras over so many years, said a report from the Taiwan's president's office.

During her last day in El Salvador on Jan. 13, Tsai also visited the Holy Savior Cathedral of San Salvador, where Blessed Oscar Romero, the former archbishop, was buried.

Together with Archbishop Jose Luis Escobar Alas, Tsai presented a wreath on Blessed Romero's tomb and wrote in Chinese "Brave man without fear, Axiom forever" in the visitor's book.

A Taiwan observer believed such arrangements was to reassure Tsai of the stability of the Taiwan-Vatican relationship as "it is not necessary for a church official to meet Tsai during a diplomatic visit."

Tsai visited Honduras, Nicaragua, Guatemala and El Salvador from Jan. 8-13. All these countries maintain diplomatic relations with Taiwan which neighboring China considers a renegade province.

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