Roman Catholicism in Taiwan

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Dioceses of Taiwan
St. John Catholic Church in Banqiao District, New Taipei

The Catholic Church in Taiwan is part of the worldwide Catholic Church, under the spiritual leadership of the Pope in Rome. Between 1.5% and 2% of the population of Taiwan are Catholic. The Church operates one university, the Fu Jen Catholic University.

History[edit]

In 1514, Taiwan was included in the Diocese of Funchal as a missionary jurisdiction; there was some organized Catholic activity on the island. In 1576, the first Chinese diocese, the Diocese of Macau, was established in Macau, a Portuguese colony, and covered most of China including Taiwan.

Spanish Catholics established the Spanish Formosa in northern Taiwan around Keelung.

This diocese was sub-divided several times over the next few centuries. In chronological order, Taiwan belonged to the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Nanking (1660), Fukien (1696) and Amoy (1883).

In 1913, the Apostolic Vicariate of the Island of Formosa (now Taiwan) was established out of the Diocese of Amoy. It was renamed Khaosung in 1949.

Before the end of World War II the Catholic Church had a very minor presence in Taiwan based mainly in the south of the island and centred on Spanish Dominican priests who went there from the Philippines in the 1860s. The end of World War II and the following years saw a mass migration of religious communities from mainland China as Communist persecution began to take effect following the Chinese Communist Revolution in 1949. As a result, the Catholic Church has many Mandarin-speaking mainland immigrants.

In September 1951 the Papal Internuncio to China was expelled to Hong Kong. Since 1952, the Papal internuncio has been stationed in Taiwan (Republic of China). Also, the ROC ambassador to the Holy See has provided the only permanent diplomatic link between China and the Holy See. Attempts to move the Papal nuncio to Beijing have failed, as the Holy See has not accepted demands by the People's Republic of China that it sever its diplomatic links with Taiwan.

The current head of the Roman Catholic Church in Taiwan is Taipei Archbishop John Hung Shan-chuan (洪山川), S.V.D., who was appointed in November 2007.

Practices[edit]

One peculiarity of Catholicism in Taiwan lies on its links with practices of Shamanism. These Shamanic practices, called Wushu 巫術 in Chinese, vary according to culture and place. They are an essential part of the traditional religion of the indigenous people of Taiwan, who converted to Christianity about fifty years ago, becoming largely Presbyterian or Catholic.

Dioceses[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]