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Vice President Chen attends canonization of Cardinal John Henry Newman and four other blesseds

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Vice President Chen attends canonization of Cardinal John Henry Newman and four other blesseds

Vice President Chen attends canonization of Cardinal John Henry Newman and four other blesseds


At a Consistory of cardinals on July 1, Pope Francis formally approved the canonization of Cardinal John Henry Newman and the other four blesseds, to take place on October 13 at the Holy See. Cardinal Newman had a profound influence on the Catholic faith and the development of Catholic doctrine. The other four blesseds, nuns and Catholic brethren who spent their lives caring for those with no one else to rely on, are admired for their spirit of sacrifice and contribution. To show the importance that Taiwan attaches to its 77-year diplomatic alliance with the Holy See and our bilateral cooperation and exchanges, President Tsai Ing-wen appointed Vice President Chen Chien-jen, a devout Catholic, as her special envoy to lead a delegation to the Holy See to participate in the canonization ceremony, and convey best wishes to the pope on behalf of the government, people, and fellow Catholics of Taiwan.

This trip, codenamed the Holy Virtue Project, emphasized that Vice President Chen attended the canonization ceremony to commemorate the benevolence and virtue of the Catholic community's forbearers. Vice President and Mrs. Chen, along with Deputy Foreign Minister Kelly Wu-Chiao Hsieh (謝武樵), boarded a China Airlines chartered flight on the evening of October 10 to the Holy See, and returned to Taiwan in the early morning hours of October 15.

Itinerary (Local time)



Vice President Chen, as delegation head and presidential envoy, personally conveyed to Pope Francis greetings and congratulations from President Tsai, and the government, people, and Catholic brethren of Taiwan. The vice president also exchanged views with many high-ranking clergy at the Holy See regarding cooperative projects that Taiwan and the Holy See have jointly promoted in recent years including humanitarian assistance, human trafficking prevention, cultural exchanges, interfaith dialogue, and environmentally sustainable development. He also reaffirmed the cooperative Taiwan-Holy See partnership promoting freedom, peace, and humanitarianism. Prior to and after the canonization ceremony, he exchanged greetings with United Kingdom Prince Charles Philip Arthur George, Brazilian Vice President Hamilton Mourão, and Ireland's Minister for Education and Skills Joe McHugh, promoting a positive image of Taiwan.


Vice President Chen visited the Diocese of Loreto, promoting the Our Lady of Loreto pilgrimage site and the Bishops' Conference of Taiwan's simultaneous broadcast of the opening of the Holy Door of the Jubilee on December 8, strengthening exchanges between the Catholic Church in Taiwan and Italy. During his visit to the birthplace of the renowned Jesuit missionary Fr. Matteo Ricci in the Diocese of Macerata, the vice president also promoted East-West cultural and religious exchanges and stronger cooperation in sinology research between the Matteo Ricci Institute in Macerata and the Matteo Ricci & Pacific Studies Reading Room at Taiwan's National Central Library.


Members of the Taiwan chapter of the Missionary Sisters of the Immaculate Conception of the Mother of God (MIC) were at the Holy See to attend the canonization ceremony along with the leaders of MIC-affiliated social service and educational organizations, so Vice President and Mrs. Chen took the opportunity to meet with them. They also dined with Taiwanese clergy stationed at the Holy See and foreign clergy who have previously served in Taiwan. Speaking on behalf of the government of Taiwan, the vice president thanked the foreign clergy for their many years of selfless service to Taiwanese society. He also affirmed that the Taiwanese government will continue cooperating with the Catholic Church in Taiwan to promote education, healthcare, social welfare, and humanitarian and charity work to benefit the people of Taiwan as well as the larger international community.

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