Taiwan Church News
December 11 – 17, 2017
General Assembly News
NCCT Members Visit Pope Francis In Rome
Reported by Lin Yi-yin
To promote ecumenical unity and facilitate more mutual understandings between the Protestant Church and the Roman Catholic Church, led by the Rt Reverend David J. H. Lai of the Episcopal Diocese of Taiwan, members of NCCT(The National Council of Churches of Taiwan) visited Pope Francis at Rome in the morning on December 7.
During the meeting, Pope Francis welcomed the NCCT members and gave his best wishes and greetings to all Taiwanese in the name of the Lord. Pope Francis was also very pleased to learn that the two national church councils of Taiwan and Australia were currently two existant church organizations united together in the world to uphold ecumenical unity as their major purpose.
Just after a journey from visiting Myanmar and Bangladesh in Southern Asia, Pope Francis shared his personal experiences of both the dynamic struggles and deep sufferings of the Asian peoples. He wished all Christians could cooperate and unite together to respond the calling from God, promote human dignity and help those in needs.
Pope also emphasized that a further cooperation should be enhanced between the churches of the Protestant and the Roman Catholic, including charity ministries of caring the marginalized, education programs for the youth, and especially more religious dialogues with the other faiths. If all Christians could act in God’s love, the glorious day that Jesus prayed for his church would certainly come, Pope expressed.
In return, responding Pope’s advise on God’s love to reach true peace, Bishop David J. H. Lai of Taiwan’s Episcopal Church presented to Pope Francis a giant steel cross made by a bombed shell left in the renown 823 Artillery Bombardment during the second Taiwan Strait Crisis in 1958.
Rev Hsuei Bor-tsan, Vice Moderator of PCT General Assembly, said he was deeply touched when Pope Francis shook hands with every NCCT members to give his greetings during this historic visit. The humble service of Pope Francis of caring for the poor and the marginalized was exactly the legacy of our Lord Jesus, Rev Hsuei reminded.
Translated by Peter Wolfe