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Vice president wraps up Vatican trip

2019/10/14 21:00:55

Taiwan Vice President Chen Chien-jen (陳建仁, front center) left Rome on Monday.

Taipei, Oct. 14 (CNA) Taiwan Vice President Chen Chien-jen (陳建仁) left Rome on Monday after concluding a four-day visit to the Vatican where he attended the canonization of late British Cardinal John Henry Newman and four others in Vatican City the previous day.

It was the third time he had attended a canonization ceremony in the Holy See, Taiwan's only diplomatic ally in Europe, as the representative of the Republic of China since taking office as vice president in May 2016.

Chen, a devout Catholic, attended the canonization of Mother Teresa in September 2016 and Pope Paul VI in October 2018. On both visits, Chen invited Pope Francis to visit Taiwan, invitations that have not been accepted.

Before the ceremony Sunday, Chen met with Pope Francis as part of the protocol at such events, when the pope usually receives all the leaders of attending delegations.

Chen told CNA that during the meeting, he again invited Pope Francis to visit Taiwan and conveyed President Tsai Ing-wen's (蔡英文) regards.

The pope will visit Thailand and Japan from Nov. 19 to 26.

On Monday, Chen attended a mass held at St. Peter's Chapel whose theme was to pray for global environmental protection and sustainable development, echoing the themes that emerged in the first week of the Synod of Bishops for the Amazon, taking place from Oct. 6 to Oct. 27 in Rome.

Chen is scheduled to return to Taiwan on Tuesday.

(By Huang Ya-shih and Evelyn Kao)