September 9, 2016
His Eminence Edwin Cardinal O’Brien, Grand Master of the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem (EOHSJ), is visiting the Republic of China from September 9 to 13. He is in Taiwan to preside over the investiture of Knights and Dames of the EOHSJ Taiwan Lieutenancy, and attend a special mass to mark the occasion at the Holy Family Church Taipei.
Cardinal O’Brien and two accompanying delegation members from the Holy See will have an audience with Vice President Chen Chien-jen. They will also attend a reception hosted by Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Chih-Chung Wu and meet with the Most Reverend Archbishop John Hung, President of the Chinese Regional Bishops’ Conference, as well as other members of the clergy.
The EOHSJ began as a Christian organization in the 13th century, and has since become a prominent institution of the Holy See. His Eminence Edwin O’Brien was made a cardinal by Pope Benedict XVI in February 2012, and appointed to the important position of Grand Master of the EOHSJ the following month. Taiwan and the Philippines are the only Asian countries to have EOHSJ lieutenancies.
The ROC and the Holy See enjoy long-standing diplomatic relations, close cooperation and interactions, and frequent high-level exchange visits. Vice President Chen made a fruitful visit to the Holy See as a special envoy to attend the canonization ceremony of Blessed Mother Teresa on September 4. In addition, the National Palace Museum and the Office for the Liturgical Celebrations of the Supreme Pontiff collaborated on holding the exhibition “Treasures from Heaven - A Special Exhibition of Artifacts from the Holy See” in Taipei from February to May this year. Archbishop Piero Marini, President of the Pontifical Committee for International Eucharistic Congresses, represented the Holy See at the opening ceremony. The Holy See also sent the Most Reverend Archbishop Joseph Chennoth, Apostolic Nuncio to Japan, to attend the inauguration of the ROC president and vice president as its special envoy, and extend Pope Francis’s congratulations. His Eminence Giuseppe Cardinal Versaldi, Prefect of the Congregation for Catholic Education of the Holy See, also led a delegation to Taiwan in May. (E)