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(ANS – Taipei) – On Thursday 1 December the Fu Ren Da Xue Catholic University in Taiwan conferred a Doctorate in Philosophy honoris causa on Archbishop Savio Hon Tai-fai SDB, Secretary of the Congregation for the Evangelisation of Peoples.
The solemn ceremony took place in the “Cardinal Cushing” auditorium of the University. As reported by AsiaNews, among the distinguished guests were Cardinal Joseph Zen SDB, retired Bishop of Hong Kong, Cardinal Paul Shan, retired Archbishop of Kaohsiung, other Bishops from Taiwan, the academic body and the Ambassador of the Republic of China to the Holy See, Larry Wang.
After a short prayer various speakers described the merits of the candidate for the award of the honorary degree, recalling his work as a Salesian priest, as professor in Hong Kong and in China, until his appointment as Secretary of Propaganda Fide, “the highest level Chinese in the Vatican.” They all said that enrolling the Archbishop among the academic body would enhance the mission for which the University was created: that of evangelising the Chinese world through culture.
The President of the Fu Ren Da Xue University, Dr. Bernard Li recalled that the commitment to cultural is also undertaken by witness and referred to Cardinal Shan – who has just reached 90 years of age and has had a operation for a tumour, and is still engaged in the mission of the Church in Taiwan and in China – and to Cardinal Zen, who recently undertook a fast to defend freedom of education in Hong Kong, against attempts by the Government of the territory to control it.
Archbishop Hon Tai-Fai then gave his formal address, dealing with Cardinal Celso Costantini (1876-1958), the first Apostolic Delegate in the Republic of China, who had a primary role in the creation of the Fu Ren University.
Visibly moved at the end of the ceremony, Archbishop Hon declared: “This doctorate makes me even more at one with the Holy See in promoting the progress of culture and in integrating Christian with Chinese culture.” He also expressed the hope that his work as Secretary of Propaganda Fide would also help with evangelisation in China, so that “Christians may remain faithful to the Pope and to their identity.”