- Jan 18, 2020
As Taiwan rapidly becomes increasingly isolated in the international community, having recently lost two more diplomatic allies, they are bolstering their image as a stable democracy where freedoms are enjoyed that are not in neighboring China.
A year after the Vatican made its secret agreement with China on the appointment of bishops, top Taiwanese officials have voiced doubt that the deal is making a difference for Catholics on the ground, and voiced hope that the Holy See would not drop Taipei in favor of Beijing, as some fear.
Weeks after the first anniversary of the deal between the Vatican and the People’s Republic of China on the appointment of bishops — the first formal agreement between the two countries since the 1950s — Beijing promulgated a fresh batch of regulations governing places of worship.
Taiwanese Ambassador to the Holy See Matthew S.M. Lee has blasted mainland China over what he said is a lack of respect for basic freedoms and human rights, and aligned his embassy with key papal priorities, such as care for migrants and the environment.
The provisional agreement signed in 2018 by the Holy See and the Chinese government has “opened the way to the two most important things: pastoral activity and dialogue,” said Archbishop Claudio Maria Celli.
According to some experts, the ordination on Monday of a new bishop in China is indicative of neither the terms of last year’s agreement between the Vatican and the Chinese government on episcopal appointments or its success, since the bishop ordained had been selected before the accord was signed.