Top Vatican diplomat leaves Taiwan mission
February 04, 2022
CWN Editor's Note: Father Arnaldo Sanchez Catalan, who has been serving as the Vatican’s chargé d’affaires in Taipei, has been named the apostolic nuncio to Rwanda; he will be ordained as an archbishop next week as he takes on his new assignment.
Although the diplomatic transfer was made without fanfare, it has important implications, because for years Archbishop-designate Catalan was the ranking Vatican representative in Taiwan, and no replacement has yet been named.
Although the Vatican continues to maintain full diplomatic relations with Taiwan—unlike many countries, which have bowed to pressure from Beijing—the Vatican has not had an apostolic nuncio in Taipei for 40 years. The departure of the chargé d’affaires, if he is not replaced, would represent another subtle downgrading of ties with Taiwan, at a time when the Vatican is intent on improving relations with Beijing.
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