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Foreign minister to attend beatification of Pope Paul VI

2014/10/17 16:43:31

Taipei, Oct. 17 (CNA) President Ma Ying-jeou has designated Foreign Minister David Lin as his envoy to attend the beatification ceremony of Pope Paul VI at the Vatican on Sunday.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a statement Friday that Lin and his delegation to the Holy See will leave Taiwan on Oct. 18, attend the ceremony on Oct. 19 and return to Taiwan on Oct. 22.

Lin's visit will boost bilateral exchanges and friendship, the statement said.

Pope Paul VI was elected pope on June 21, 1963 and passed away on Aug. 6, 1978. He was the first pope to travel to five continents, making him the most traveled pope in history at the time.

He will be beatified after Pope Francis approved a miracle credited to the intercession of Paul VI, putting the late pope one step away from sainthood.

The Vatican is one of Taiwan's 22 diplomatic allies and the only one in Europe. There have been repeated rumors that the Vatican is interested in setting up formal ties with the People's Republic of China, which would mean an end to diplomatic relations with Taiwan.

(By Tang Pei-chun and Lilian Wu)