From the Worldwide Faith News archives www.wfn.org
Taiwans Catholics Call for Return of Christmas Holiday
Worldwide Faith News <email@example.com>
Wed, 18 Feb 2004 07:20:51 -0800
Taiwan Church News 2701, 9 through 15 February 2004
Reported by Gu Hao-jan & Lin Yi-ying.Translated and Rewritten by David
December 25th should definitely be returned to the classification of a
National Holiday! Taiwans president Chen Shui-bian recently received a
delegation of foreign Roman Catholic missionaries who included this
among their requests. They pointed out that even in Islamic countries
Christmas is a holiday, but not in Taiwan. The president responded
asking for all to think together about the topic and come up with a
The delegation of 70 missionaries, led by Cardinal Paul Shan S. J.,
visited the presidential offices on February 3rd.
The Rev. Fr. James Liu, Auxiliary Bishop of Taipei, said that President
Chen was receptive to the missionaries suggestions. He not only
demonstrated respect for the work they have done to further cultural
exchange between Taiwans people and overseas nations, but also have
helped preserve Taiwans local culture. He commended them for their work
on the World Peace Day declaration, and recognized the significant role
that religion plays in every nation that seeks peace. The president also
asserted a need for modern people to become international partners on
the bases of mutual care, justice and morality.
Fr. Liu said that the president asked the clergy and religious to
continue to work with Taiwans people in the model of Christ to build a
In response to the suggestion that Christmas day once again be
celebrated as a national holiday, Fr. Liu pointed out that the holiday
is internationally recognized. Taiwan should be in conformity with
international practices, and though there should not be too many
holidays, one of those allowed should be Christmas.
President Chen did not refute this argument. He said that the example of
Islamic countries marking Christmas surely calls into question the
reasons why Taiwan has no provision for the day. But he made no promises.
In addition, they asked President Chen to do something about the fee
assessed for long term residence permits for foreigners. The current
charge of 10,000 Taiwan Yuan seemed steep. The president expressed a
hope that they would all be able to stay in Taiwan for a long time, and
promised that the matter would be investigated with an eye to some sort
of a resolution.
For more information: Cardinal Paul Shan, S J firstname.lastname@example.org
James Liu email@example.com
Taiwan Church News is published weekly in Taiwans local languages.
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