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Italian Catholic priest receives Taiwanese citizenship

2018/01/23 19:43:01

Gino Picca (王秉鈞, center front)

Taipei, Jan. 23 (CNA) An Italian Catholic priest who has devoted more than half a century of service to Taiwan received a citizen's national identity card and certificate of naturalization Tuesday.

Gino Picca (王秉鈞) said he will always stay in Taiwan and hopes to donate his body when he dies.

Picca was presented with his documents by Tainan City government officials including Deputy Mayor Wu Tsung-jung (吳宗榮).

Picca, who came to Taiwan in 1964 and has only returned to Italy eight times to visit family, is the third foreign priest in Tainan to be granted Taiwanese citizenship by the Ministry of the Interior (MOI).

The 79-year-old has conducted missionary work in Taiwan for decades, and held a wedding mass for the daughter and daughter-in-law of Vice President Chen Chien-jen (陳建仁).

Picca not only speaks Mandarin but also Taiwanese.

Picca said that in his experience the Taiwan government's efficiency and attitude toward serving its people is much better than Italy's.

However, Taiwan should become even better and more efficient, said Picca, adding that as long as people are united and do not engage in internal fighting, Taiwan will certainly be more empowered.

Gino Picca (王秉鈞, left)

(By Chang Jung-hsiang and William Yen)