Taiwanese priest arrested twice for possessing drugs

Professor at Catholic university apologizes on social media and promises to quit taking amphetamine
Taiwanese priest arrested twice for possessing drugs

Father Augustine Tsao Buoruey meets Pope Francis with a delegation from the National Council of Churches of Taiwan in December 2017. The priest has apologized for taking drugs after twice being arrested by police. (Photo from Facebook)

ucanews.com reporter, Taipei
Taiwan
December 7, 2018
A Taiwanese priest has been arrested by police for the second time for possessing amphetamine.

Father Augustine Tsao Buoruey, a professor in the Faculty of Theology of St. Robert Bellarmine at Fu Jen Catholic University, apologized on Facebook and promised to quit taking drugs. 

In December 2017, Father Tsao had an audience with Pope Francis with a delegation from the National Council of Churches of Taiwan.

Some Catholics described Father Tsao, 45, to the media as "the rising star of Taiwan’s Catholic Church; the key talent of the church."

"He is welcome by church members because he is so cheerful and lively that he is willing to interact with believers and share teaching with them," said one.

According to Taiwanese media, Father Tsao was found by police on Dec. 4 in a park in Daan district in Taipei city to have three packets of amphetamine with a net weight of about one gram.

Previously, on Nov. 12, police found Father Tsao sitting in a park on Jiankang Road in Songshan district with his eyes flashing and a startled face.

When the priest refused to be investigated, police took him to a police station where he admitted that he had taken amphetamine.

When police discovered he was a priest, he told them: "Call me Mr. Tsao instead of Father Tsao."

He posted a statement on Facebook on Dec. 5 to "family, friends, brothers and sisters" in which he admitted "the news [of his arrest] is more or less right. I did really break the law for having amphetamine."

The statement added: "It is wrong to possess the illicit substance. I have no excuse."

Father Tsao apologized to the church, his family and friends and promised he would completely quit drugs "in order to express my will and determination" and "as a way for me to move towards a more complete life."

He also prayed for the Lord Jesus accompanying him to this path of Passover.

Catholic Anna told ucanews.com that no matter the reasons for the priest to take drugs, the whole church should give him enough support and companionship so that he could truly quit his drug addiction and heal his broken heart.

Father Tsao was ordained on April 24, 2010. He graduated from Fu Jen Catholic University and earned a master’s degree from Taiwan Tamkang University. He went to Rome to study and got a master’s degree in liturgy. After returning to Taiwan, he served in Chiayi Diocese and later taught at Fu Jen.

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In August, he took over the post of director of the Research Center for Liturgy at the university.

Chiayi Diocese told ucanews.com that it would not respond to individual media and would issue a statement later.

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