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Ambassador Larry Yu-yuan Wang visits the Centro Astalli – Jesuit Refugee Service Italy(Embassy of the Republic of China ( Taiwan ) to the Holy See)
Date: 2013/10/28    Data Source: 公眾外交協調會

In the afternoon of Friday, October 25, ROC Ambassador to the Holy See Larry Yu-yuan Wang visited the Centro Astalli, a refugee center located in the heart of Rome, and met with its Director, Fr. Giovanni La Manna.

Ambassador Larry Wang noted that, on September 10, Pope Francis made a private visit to the Centro Astalli to express his support for refugees and to call for people to show greater courage and generosity in welcoming others, who should be embraced rather than feared. Since his election in March, Pope Francis has put both the poor and immigrants at the heart of his papacy. To this end, Ambassador Larry Wang explained to Fr. La Manna that the Government of the Republic of China wished to answer the Holy Father’s appeal by offering a concrete contribution as well as to convey its support for the hard work carried out by the Jesuit Refugee Service.

Ambassador Larry Wang then introduced to Fr. La Manna the Holy See- Roc relations, underlining the fact that both parties share the universal values of humanitarian assistance, human dignity and solidarity towards those who are suffering and experiencing hardship. He also added that in the past years the Church of Taiwan has played the role of a “Bridge Church” between the Universal Church and the Church in mainland China.

Fr. La Manna explained that the Jesuit Refugee Service has centers in over 50 countries all over the world in order to serve both refugees and the poor. Currently, they are providing humanitarian assistance in Syria as well. Fr. La Manna is managing the Italian branch of the Jesuit Refugee Service, whose main activities consist in providing food, shelter, Italian language lessons, medical assistance and legal counseling services. In 2012 alone the Astalli Center provided services for a total of 21,000 people. Currently, there are migrants who are survivors of the Lampedusa tragedy.

Fr. La Manna thanked Ambassador Larry Wang for the contribution generously provided by the ROC government and led the ambassador to visit the soup kitchen, the medical clinic, and a small chapel where Pope Francis prayed briefly. The visit lasted about 30 minutes. Before leaving, Ambassador Wang announced that he will work on a new project to serve the poor and the disadvantaged following Pope Francis’ teachings.

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    1. Ambassador Larry Wang (middle) with the Director of the Astalli Centre Rev. Fr. Giovanni La Manna (right) and Fr. Camillo (left)

      Ambassador Larry Wang (middle) with the Director of the Astalli Centre Rev. Fr. Giovanni La Manna (right) and Fr. Camillo (left)