Taiwan mourns death of Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, will send ex-VP to funeral

Taiwan’s government mourned the passing of Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI Sunday, saying that the late pontiff “will be remembered for his humility and caring for all humanity.”

President Tsai Ing-wen (???) has also designated former Vice President Chen Chien-jen (???) to attend the late German-born pope’s funeral to be held on Jan. 5 on behalf of Taiwan, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) said in a press release.

Benedict died Saturday at the age of 95 in a Vatican monastery, according to a statement from the Vatican. He was the first pope in almost 600 years to resign his position, rather than hold office for life, when he did so in 2013.

On Jan. 5, Pope Francis, who succeeded Benedict, will preside over the late pontiff’s funeral mass in St. Peter’s Square, the Vatican said.

In its statement, MOFA said that during Benedict’s papacy from 2005 to 2013, Taiwan and the Vatican maintained cordial ties and that the late pope would always be remembered for his “humility and caring for all humanity” by people around the world.

Based on shared common values, the nation and the Holy See will continue to promote closer humanitarian cooperation, MOFA added.

The Holy See is one of 14 sovereign entities that maintain full diplomatic ties with Taiwan, officially named the Republic of China.

A devoted Catholic, Chen served as Tsai’s deputy from 2016 to 2020.

He previously visited the Vatican for various ceremonies in 2016, 2018, and 2019 when he was Taiwan’s vice president. His most recent visit to the Vatican was in September 2022 to attend the beatification ceremony of former Pope John Paul I.

Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel