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Holy See sends envoy to attend Tsai's presidential inauguration

2016/05/18 13:32:22

The Presidential Office and a stage set up for inauguration celebration.

Taipei, May 18 (CNA) The Holy See has sent its ambassador to Japan as a special envoy to lead a delegation to attend the upcoming inauguration of Taiwan's next president and to congratulate Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) on behalf of Pope Francis, Taiwan's Ministry of Foreign Affairs said Wednesday.

Archbishop Joseph Chennoth, the Holy See's Apostolic Nuncio to Japan, is scheduled to visit Taiwan from Wednesday to next Monday, during which he will attend Tsai's inauguration ceremony on Friday in Taipei and the state dinner hosted by Tsai later that day, the ministry said in a statement.

Chennoth, a former representative of the Holy See to Taiwan in the 1990s, will also meet with Tsai to send a congratulatory message on behalf of Pope Francis, the ministry said.

He will be accompanied by Msgr. Sladan Cosic, charge d'affaires at the Apostolic Nunciature of the Holy See to the Republic of China (Taiwan), it said.

While in Taiwan, Chennoth will also visit Fu Jen Catholic University in New Taipei and attend a mass at Holy Family Church Taipei, the ministry said.

Chennoth served as the Vatican's charge d'affaires to Taiwan from 1995-1999, it said.

As in previous years, the Holy See is sending an ambassador from a nearby country to lead a delegation to attend Taiwan's presidential inauguration ceremony this year.

The Holy See sent Archbishop Edward Joseph Adams, its then-ambassador to the Philippines, to attend the inauguration ceremony of Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) in 2008. Four years later, the Holy See sent Archbishop Osvaldo Padilla, its Apostolic Nuncio to South Korea, to attend Ma's second inauguration.

Of Taiwan's 22 diplomatic allies, the Holy See is the only one in Europe.

(By Elaine Hou)