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Vice president repeats invitation for pope to visit Taiwan

2018/10/19 22:08:48

Vice President Chen Chien-jen (陳建仁, front, right) and Frederic Fornos (second left)

Taipei, Oct. 19 (CNA) Vice President Chen Chien-jen (陳建仁) repeated an invitation for Pope Francis to visit Taiwan during a meeting with Frederic Fornos, international director of the pope's Worldwide Prayer Network, in Taipei on Friday.

Chen, who returned to Taiwan on Tuesday from a four-day visit to the Vatican, said he hoped the pope could personally visit Taiwan to feel the diverse and unique vitality of the country.

The vice president first invited Pope Francis to visit Taiwan on behalf of President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) in a meeting with him before a canonization ceremony for Pope Paul VI and six others at the Vatican on Oct. 14.

That invitation was declined by the press office of the Holy See on Thursday in a statement.

"Such a visit by the Holy Father is not being planned," Greg Burke, director of the press office, said in the statement.

On Friday, Chen reiterated the same themes with Fornos that he talked about when he visited the Holy See.

He said the Holy See and the Republic of China (Taiwan) have been allies for 76 years, and Taiwan will continue to uphold universal values and the spirit of respecting religious freedom, political democracy, human rights and the rule of law.

Taiwan will also continue to deepen the charitable and ethical partnership with the Holy See, and work with the pope to promote world peace and the well-being of all people, he said.

(By Yeh Su-ping and William Yen)