Vatican Thanks China but Not Taiwan for Donated Medical Supplies

TOPSHOT - Pope Francis greets faithful from China as he arrives for his weekly general audience on April 18, 2018, on St. Peter's square in the Vatican. (Photo by TIZIANA FABI / AFP) (Photo credit should read TIZIANA FABI/AFP via Getty Images)
TIZIANA FABI/AFP via Getty

ROME — Both China and Taiwan have donated masks and medical supplies to the Vatican in recent days but while the Vatican thanked China publicly it has kept silent over Taiwan’s generosity.

As Breitbart News reported, on April 9 the Vatican issued a glowing public statement thanking the People’s Republic of China for donations of medical supplies to combat the spread of the coronavirus, calling the gesture a sign of China’s “solidarity” with the Holy See.

Yet as noted by Crux, an online Catholic news outlet, China was not alone in coming to the Vatican’s aid. Taiwan has offered similar donations of food and medical supplies to the Vatican and other church institutions in Italy, and yet no public thanks from the Vatican has been forthcoming.

On April 14, Taiwan’s Embassy to the Holy See released a statement announcing they had donated 280,000 medical masks to the Vatican, the Italian bishops, Italian hospitals and various religious institutes in Italy, Crux reported.

“It is a sign of closeness to Pope Francis and to the Italian people, but also a help to the Italian church, which is very committed in accompanying the sick and the most needy who suffer from the coronavirus,” said Taiwan’s Ambassador to the Holy See Matthew Lee.

“Taiwan is one of the few countries that has been successful in fighting this virus,” Mr. Lee said.

“This donation to the Vatican is a concrete sign of sharing the efficiency of the manufacture of Taiwanese masks and the experience gained in the field in recent years in the fight against viruses,” he said.

The Vatican’s silence concerning Taiwan’s donations stands in stark contrast to its vocal gratitude to China, which sends “a strong signal of where the Vatican’s interests lie,” Crux noted.

The Holy See is one of only 15 countries in the world to enjoy diplomatic relations with Taiwan but the Vatican has made it clear that it would be willing to cut off ties with Taiwan in order to forge an agreement with China, and has repeatedly snubbed Taiwan in favor of mainland China.

“Given the Vatican’s ongoing courtship with mainland China in recent years, Taiwan likely won’t rock the boat by asking for public recognition, but the Vatican’s silence toward them, considering their own coronavirus offerings, is nothing short of deafening,” Crux declares.

In recent years, the Vatican has adopted a policy of appeasement in dealing with China’s communist party (CCP) in the hope of reopening diplomatic relations.

In September 2018, the Vatican signed a secret agreement with the CCP regarding the appointment of bishops in China and later told Catholic clergy that they are now free to join the state-run Chinese Catholic Patriotic Association, which is independent of Rome.

For his part, Pope Francis has declared that the communist government protects religious freedom in China, despite all evidence to the contrary, and that “churches are full.”

Meanwhile, the chancellor of the Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences, the Argentinian Bishop Marcelo Sanchez Sorondo, has proclaimed that the CCP has created the best model for living out Catholic social teaching today.

The pope has also refused to criticize the intense crackdown on religious freedom by the regime of Xi Jinping and has kept silent concerning the suppression of student pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong.

The president of the Catholic Federation of Asian Bishops’ Conferences, however, stated last week that the Chinese Communist Party has “primary responsibility” for the global COVID-19 pandemic and owes the world “compensation for the destruction it has caused.”

There is “one government that has primary responsibility for what it has done and what it has failed to do, and that is the CCP regime in Beijing,” wrote Cardinal Charles Maung Bo, the archbishop of Yangon in Myanmar, which borders China.

“Let me be clear — it is the CCP that has been responsible, not the people of China, and no one should respond to this crisis with racial hatred toward the Chinese,” Cardinal Bo declared in a strongly worded essay.

“But it is the repression, the lies and the corruption of the CCP that are responsible,” he said.

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