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Updated 2017-06-18 06:13:49

(Tay Ninh Holy See – June 1, 2017 - Reported by Archbishop Thai Con Thanh, Archbishop Ngoc Hong Thanh and Priest Thuong Canh Thanh. Pictures taken by Nguyen Tri Luc- Summarised and Translated by Tuan Em)
On Wednesday morning, 10th May 2017, the delegation of Cao Dai Tay Ninh Holy See’s Sacerdotal Council took the Air France’s flight AF 0253 to Paris - France, beginning their first European Religious Tour to visit and make presentation on the doctrine and philosophy of Cao Dai Religion to professors, students and doctoral candidates at various higher educational institutions.
Having accepted the invitations from the University of Bordeaux in France, the University of Vienna in Austria and CESNUR (Center for studies on New Religions) in Torino-Italy, His Eminence Cardinal Thuong Tam Thanh, Chairman of the Sacerdotal Council led the delegation consisting of high dignitaries from the Holy See and from Cao Dai overseas, including Reverend Thuong Canh Thanh, Head of Cao Dai Overseas Missionary, other dignitaries from the US and Professor Jérémy Jammes, Director of the Center for Southeast Asian Affairs at the University of Brunei Darussalam.
At the University of Bordeaux, Professor Bernadette Rigal-Cellard, Dean of the Department of Religions and Sociology warmly greeted and welcomed the delegation, then guided the delegates to the auditorium to meet with about 90 professors and students.
His Eminence Cardinal Thuong Tam Thanh, Reverend Thuong Canh Thanh and Professor  Jérémy Jammes took turn to introduce the history, doctrine and religious activities of the Cao Dai Religion in Vietnam.
At the end of the presentation, Prof. Bernadette introduced two new Asian religions also in attendance : Daesoon Jinrihoe from Seoul, South Korea and Weixin Shengjiao from Taiwan. Both explained about their religions too.
While in France, the Cao Dai Delegation paid a visit to the Panthéon in Paris to pay homage to Victor Hugo who revealed himself as a Saint in Cao Dai under the name of Chưởng Đạo Nguyệt Tâm Chơn Nhơn (Superintendent of Monasteries). Victor Hugo was tasked by God to lead the Cao Dai missionary activities outside Viet Nam.
At the University of Vienna, the Cao Đai delegation was warmly greeted and welcomed by Professor Lukas Pokorny, Dean of the Department of Religious studies. About 30 people attended the presentation on Cao Dai. Dr. Pokorny informed that the Master degree’s curriculum now included a full-credit course on Caodaism and was introduced last March.
At The Vatican, the Cao Dai delegation was greeted by Priest Santiago Michael, Executive Staff of the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue and Priest Michael H. Weniger, in charge of the Commission for religious relations with Muslims in Europe and America.
Then, the Cao Đai Delegation met with His Excellency Bishop Monsignor Miguel Angel Ayuso Guixot, Secretary of the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue.  
Bishop Guixot expressed his pleasure to meet the Cao Dai delegation, explained about the duties and responsibilities of the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue.
His Eminence Cardinal Thuong Tam Thanh, Chairman of the Sacerdotal Council expressed his gratitude to HE Bishop Guixot and the 2 Priests for their warm welcome and briefly introduced the history of Cao Dai, which is a spiritist and syncretist religion created by God Himself in Vietnam in 1926 through spiritist messages. Cardinal Tam also explained that Jesus Christ was among one of the many Divinities on the Cao Dai altar and Cao Dai followers worshipped Jesus Christ on His birthday with a great ceremony at the Holy See and at all Caodai temples inside Viet Nam and around the world.
Reverend Michael and Weniger then led the delegation to a special tour of the Vatican, visiting St.Peter Basilica, including the resting and burial places of many Popes, the Vatican Museum and the Sistine Chapel where a new Pope was elected.
After the Vatican tour, the Cao Dai Delegation visited the headquarters of CESNUR (Center for studies on New Religions) in Torino, Italy. Dr. Massimo Introvigne welcomed the delegation and took the guests to the Center’s library.  This library hold around 50.000 books on all new religions or religious movements in the world. Cao Dai Religion has a few books in there.
Then, Professor Massimo Introvigne guided the delegation to the Lingotto Fiere Libro – Salonne Internazionale Del Libro Di Torino (Convention Center – Torino International Book Fair, Italy) to join the panel of speakers who represented other religions in Italy, South Korea and Taiwan.
As a moderator, Professor Massimo introduced the representatives of Asian religions which shared the same “Three Religions” doctrine (Confucianism, Buddhism and Taoism) such as Cao Dai Religion in Vietnam, Weixin Shengjiao in Taiwan and Daesoon Jinrihoe in South Korea, to more than 80 participants who were scholars and  students of religious studies. His Eminence Cardinal Thuong Tam Thanh was invited to kick off the discussion.
His Eminence Cardinal Thuong Tam Thanh extended his thanks to Dr. Massimo Introvigne for the invitation to CESNUR, presented the professor with a framed photo of the Cao Dai Tay Ninh Holy See. Then, due to time limit, he invited the participants to watch a short introductory video about the Holy See and its religious activities.
After that, representatives of Weixin Shengjiao in Taiwan and Daesoon Jinrihoe in South Korea also gave a short introduction about their religions to the audience. The six other speakers on the panel emphasized the positive role of religions in contributing peace to the world. The conference ended following a minute of silence for world peace.
During the fifteen-day trip around Europe (France – Austria – Italy) from May 10 to May 25, 2017, the Cao Dai delegation visited two universities (Bordeaux in France and Vienna in Austria) and CESNUR in Torino, Italy. The presentation on Cao Dai Religion to prestigious professors, scholars, researchers, doctoral candidates and students left strong impressions on people taking interest in learning about this new Asian religion.
For pictures of the tour, please scroll down.