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Vatican archbishop to attend cardinal's funeral

By Joseph Yeh--Archbishop Savio Tai Fai Hon SDB, the current secretary of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples, will represent the Holy See at today's funeral of Cardinal Paul Shan (單國璽), the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) said yesterday.

Aside from Hon, Joseph Zen Ze-kiun SDB, who served as the sixth Bishop of Hong Kong, and Hong Kong Cardinal John Tong Hon, will also take part in the Requiem Mass to be held at a chapel in the southern city of Kaohsiung 10 a.m., MOFA said in a statement.

Representing MOFA, Vice Foreign Minister Vanessa Shih will attend the funeral to express condolences to Shan's family and to express gratitude to the deceased cardinal, who had contributed a great deal to the nation, according to the statement.

The Foreign Ministry said Shan was known as an educator for the youth and caretaker for the elderly. He also helped to promote closer diplomatic ties between Taipei and the Vatican, which is the only European country that officially recognizes the Republic of China.

Shan died of multiple organ failure Aug. 22 at the age of 88 in a New Taipei hospital.

Shan, who was born Dec. 2, 1923 in China, was appointed to the position by Pope John Paul II in 1998. Shan retired in 2006, the same year he was diagnosed with lung cancer and given four to six months to live.

In November 2007, he started touring the country, speaking about his faith and his battle with cancer.

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