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Vatican reassures Taiwan

TAIPEI (UCAN): The president of Taiwan, Tsai Ing-wen, met with Oscar Andres Cardinal Rodriguez Maradiaga, the coordinator of the nine-member Council of Cardinal Advisers to Pope Francis during her recent visit to four Central American nations.

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

A report from the president’s office of Taiwan said that the cardinal prayed that Taiwan may be free from conflict and continue moving forward amid dialogue. He also asked God to bless Taiwan and see that the country receives its just reward for all the assistance it has provided to Honduras over so many years of their relationship.

On January 13, the last day of her tour, Tsai also visited the Holy Saviour Cathedral of San Salvador in El Salvador, where Archbishop Oscar Romero is buried.

Together with Archbishop José Luis Escobar Alas, Tsai placed a wreath on the martyred archbishop’s tomb and wrote in Chinese, “Brave man without fear, Axiom forever” in the visitors’ book.

A Taiwan observer believes the visits were arranged for Tsai so that she may be reassured 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 January 8 to 13. All these countries maintain diplomatic relations with Taiwan, which neighbouring China considers a renegade province.

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