Taipei, Sept. 6 (CNA) Former Vice President Chen Chien-jen (陳建仁) on Monday presented a total of €90,000 (US$89,600) from Taiwan to several Catholic groups in Europe to support their humanitarian efforts to help Ukrainian refugees who fled the Russian invasion of their country.
On behalf of the government of the Republic of China (ROC, the official name of Taiwan), Chen donated the funds to three Catholic groups and a church, including €10,000 to the Minor Basilica of Santa Sofia, the Ukrainian church from Rome on September 5 after attending a mass for peace in Ukraine at the church.
In his address at the Mass, Chen conveyed greetings from President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) and the Taiwanese people to Ukrainians in Rome and prayed for an end to the war in Ukraine, according to the ROC Embassy in The Holy See.
Chen praised Ukrainians for their unwavering resistance against Russia, saying Taiwan deeply sympathizes with the suffering of Ukrainians and will learn from Ukraine’s example to stand firm against China’s intimidation and military threats.
Meanwhile, during the visit of Cardinal Konrad Krajewski, head of the Office of Papal Charities, on the same day, Chen donated €30,000 to support Pope Francis’ charitable work, especially emergency relief efforts. in Ukraine.
Krajewski thanked Chen for the timely donation that came three days before his scheduled departure for Ukraine on behalf of Pope Francis, as well as the government and people of Taiwan for providing aid to the Ukrainian people on numerous occasions. .
Also on September 5, Chen donated €20,000 to the Sovereign Military Order of Malta and another €30,000 to Caritas Internationalis – the Catholic Church‘s humanitarian and development organization – to aid their relief operations. in Ukraine during separate visits to these organisations. .
During his visit to the Sovereign Military Order of Malta, Chen was received by the religious order’s Grand Chancellor Riccardo Paternò di Montecupo, his first public encounter with a visitor since the formation of the order’s new leadership on September 3, according to the ROC Embassy in the Holy See.
Chen and Montecupo, along with Grand Hospitaller Alessandro de Franciscis and other order officials, also exchanged views on issues ranging from relations across the Taiwan Strait to humanitarian efforts, the embassy said. .
Chen is President Tsai’s special envoy to former Pope John Paul I’s beatification ceremony on September 4 and is embarking on a nine-day trip to the Holy See from September 3-11.
Chen is leading a six-person delegation, including his wife Lo Fong-ping (羅鳳蘋), a security guard, and his staff, according to the earlier statement from Taiwan’s presidential office.