Taiwan's Envoy to the Holy See Is Baptized

Prelate of Opus Dei Administers the Sacrament

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ROME, APRIL 26, 2006 (Zenit.org).- Chou-sent Tou, Taiwan's ambassador to the Holy See, was baptized a Catholic on Easter Monday in Rome's Church of St. Eugene.



Bishop Javier Echevarría, the prelate of Opus Dei, administered the sacrament, while the Ave Maria was prayed in Chinese.

An Opus Dei press release said: "Tou has taken the name Christopher Josemaria. Next to him, and very moved, were his wife, a Catholic, and his children."

During the ceremony, prayers were recited in Latin. The readings and Gospel were read in Chinese.

Father Giovanni Hiu, director of Rome's Chinese community, thanked those present for attending the ceremony. The priest had followed step by step the diplomat's journey to Christ.

Archbishop Giovanni Lajolo, Vatican secretary for relations with states, and the undersecretary, Monsignor Pietro Parolin, participated in the event.

In the homily, Bishop Echevarría apologized "for not being able to say anything, not even one word, in Chinese."

His homily centered on the Easter season, the risen Christ and the joy of the faith -- "a joy that does not depend on external factors and that no one can uproot," not even "persecutions or material difficulties."

The enemy

However, "there is an enemy that must be removed, and this is sin. Sin makes us lose our friendship with God," the Opus Dei prelate said.

Gustavo Selva, president of the Foreign Affairs Commission of the Spanish Chamber of Deputies, and several other ambassadors were among those in attendance.

At the end of the ceremony, a holy card was distributed with an image that expressed the Christian faith present in Asia: the Virgin and Child with almond-shaped eyes, dressed in the scarlet and yellow silk of the emperors, on a royal throne.