VP Chen touts Taiwan-Holy See ties during Vatican visit

VP Chen touts Taiwan-Holy See ties during Vatican visit



17 October 2018

The government and people of Taiwan place tremendous importance on diplomatic relations with the Holy See and look forward to deepening and expanding exchanges across a broad spectrum of areas, Vice President Chen Chien-jen said. As a beacon of religious freedom and tolerance, Taiwan is committed to further strengthening ties with the Holy See via substantive cooperative initiatives spanning democracy, religious freedom and human rights, Chen said. This more than seven-decade partnership has achieved real progress in promoting benevolence, humanity and peace, he added.

Chen made the remarks while attending on behalf of President Tsai Ing-wen the canonization of Pope Paul VI and six other Catholic figures at St. Peter’s Basilica. He is accompanied by his wife Lo Fong-ping and senior government officials like Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Kelly Wu-chiao Hsieh on a six-day trip to the Vatican. Prior to the ceremony, Chen shook hands with Pope Francis, officially invited him to visit Taiwan and gifted the pontiff a specially produced DVD documentary on the life of Taiwan-based Jesuit Andres Diaz de Rabago. The 102-year-old Spaniard, who was granted citizenship in 2017, has served the people of Taiwan for nearly half a century as a practitioner and teacher of medicine. In response, the pope said he is well aware of the good work the Jesuits are doing in Taiwan, asked Chen to convey his greetings to Tsai and said he would pray for Taiwan.

This year marks the 76th anniversary of Taiwan-Holy See ties. Recent highlights of bilateral relations include the staging of the World Congress of the Apostleship of the Sea in October 2017 in southern Taiwan’s Kaohsiung City, as well as the signing of a memorandum of understanding on strengthening cooperation in combating money laundering, terrorism financing and associated offenses in May the same year.