Speaking about the family in China
The days spent in Taiwan, at the 20th ASPAG Congress, were a excellent opportunity for learning about and making comparisons with a church and a very interesting local situation, marked in many ways by the same questions and issues that characterize the Western world and by others of a deep and radically different culture.
The meeting with over 120 students of the Faculty of Theology in Taipei highlighted the great interest in questions concerning the family and a strong need for discussion and formation on this topic. On this occasion, Archbishop Paglia, in a reflection on the condition of the absolute minority of Christians in China, reaffirmed the constitutive value of the family not only for the Church but for human society, stating that "society often uses the family without understanding it. The Church is in fact playing a substituting role, because the family is not a Catholic issue but a human one." Later he reiterated that "the task of Christian families in Taipei is to be like the enormous highways that run through this city, building communion and familiarity in such a huge reality threatened by dehumanization."
In the meeting with the local press, the President then focused on the familial style of interreligious dialogue: "On the horizon of the one God, different religions can help each other in the construction of the single human family. The dialogue—he continued—must take place between the leaders but also between families: an encounter lived in mutual respect and on the basis of one‘s own faith is needed for true dialog."
It was possible to touch this dialogue between people of different religions, the result of sharing family life day after day, as he visited, during his stay in Hsinchu, a kindergarten, a large center for the disabled, and the community of the Sacro Costato Missionary Sisters, who have been in Taiwan since the 1960s.
The familial style finally marked the meeting at Hsinchu‘s Carmelite parish and with the Filipino community in Taipei, where Msgr. Paglia presided Holy Mass on the First Sunday of Advent