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Retired Archbishop Lo-Kuang Dies, First Adviser To ROC´s Holy See Mission

Updated: March 04, 2004 05:00 PM GMT
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More than 1,000 people bid a last farewell to the late retired archbishop of Taipei, who fostered relations between the Republic of China (ROC) and the Holy See.

After being bedridden for years, Archbishop Stanislaus Lo-Kuang died Feb. 28 at age 93. He had served as the first adviser to the ROC´s ambassadorial mission to the Holy See.

Among those at his March 4 funeral at Holy Family Church in Taipei were Raymond Tai Rui-ming, who recently resigned as ROC ambassador to the Holy See, and other government officials. Cardinal Paul Shan Kuo-hsi of Kaohsiung, president of the bishops´ conference in Taiwan, celebrated the requiem Mass.

The archbishop´s remains were buried at Taipei archdiocese´s Tachih Cemetery after the Mass. According to his own wish, the church displayed no photo of him and there were no flowers. His coffin was placed on the floor to symbolize "Thou art dust and unto dust thou shalt return."

Archbishop Lo-Kuang was born in 1911 in Hunan province, central China.

When the Holy See and the ROC established diplomatic relations in 1943, the late archbishop, who was a priest teaching at the Pontifical Urban University in Rome, became adviser to the ROC Embassy.

He held this position until he was appointed bishop of Tainan in 1961. Meanwhile, the ROC government had moved to Taipei in 1949 after its defeat by communist forces on the mainland. Archbishop Lo-Kuang headed Taipei archdiocese from 1966 until his retirement in 1978.

Monsignor Gabriel Ly Chen, a former president of Fu Jen Catholic University in Taiwan, told UCA News March 4 the late archbishop was an important bridge between the Holy See and the ROC. He said that during his 18 years as adviser, he enabled the ROC government to better understand the position and policies of the Holy See. His advisory role was regarded as so crucial that even after he left, other Church leaders in Taiwan were invited to fill this position, Monsignor Ly said.

"Even after the opening of mainland China in the late 1970s, the archbishop continued, personally or through the bishops´ conference in Taiwan, to express his views regarding China to the Holy See," the monsignor added.

On another note, he said, "Archbishop Lo-Kuang´s academic achievements were remarkable, especially in the areas of law and philosophy." The late archbishop was a prolific writer in history, literature, philosophy and religious studies, and did not stop writing after his retirement.

The archbishop also is remembered for his dedication to Fu Jen Catholic University. He succeeded Cardinal Paul Yu-Pin of Nanking (Nanjing) as the second president of the university from 1978 to 1992. During his 14 years as president, the university doubled its departments and student enrollment.

When he retired from the university, Monsignor Ly succeeded him.

President Chen Shui-bian conferred on Archbishop Lo-Kuang the Order of the Brilliant Star in 2001 for his academic achievements and contributions.

At the requiem Mass, a eulogy from President Chen was read. It recognized the late archbishop´s contributions to society.

END

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