Vatican 'will not abandon Taiwan'

Holy See wants to resume relations with China, but not at Taipei's expense.

    The pope criticised China for consecrating Wang Renlei, right, a bishop without its permission

    Taiwan split from China in 1949 after the civil war that brought the communists to power, and the Vatican went with it.
     
    "Holy See's position is quite clear and is known to the Taiwanese government," Madtha said. "The Holy See would maintain its delegate in Taipei. The Holy See will not abandon Taiwan."
     
    David Wang, a spokesman for Taipei's foreign affairs ministry, said Taiwan officials know about the Vatican's hopes for China, but will not comment on anything presumptive.
     

    There are about 10 million Roman Catholics 
    in China and 300,000 in Taiwan

    China sees Taiwan as part of its territory and is unlikely to let the Vatican or any government maintain ties with Taiwan while pursuing diplomatic relations in Beijing.
     
    Taiwan officials believe China is trying to isolate their island by persuading Taiwan's 24 remaining diplomatic allies to switch allegiance, joining 170 countries that already recognise Beijing over Taipei.
     
    About 10 million Roman Catholics live in China, but many are cut off from the Vatican, either worshipping underground or in government-sanctioned churches that do not recognise Rome's authority.
     
    The Vatican has indicated to Taiwan, which is home to about 300,000 Catholics, it would like to help those "lost sheep", Wang said.
     
    Vatican-China relations dipped last week, when Pope Benedict XVI criticised China for consecrating a bishop without Vatican permission, sparking outrage from Beijing.

    SOURCE: Agencies


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    'We were forced out by the government soldiers'

    'We were forced out by the government soldiers'

    We dialled more than 35,000 random phone numbers to paint an accurate picture of displacement across South Sudan.

    Interactive: Plundering Cambodia's forests

    Interactive: Plundering Cambodia's forests

    Meet the man on a mission to take down Cambodia's timber tycoons and expose a rampant illegal cross-border trade.

    Pakistan's tribal areas: 'Neither faith nor union found'

    Pakistan's tribal areas: 'Neither faith nor union found'

    Residents of long-neglected northwestern tribal belt say incorporation into Pakistan has left them in a vacuum.