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Synod to prompt new thinking

Needed to create opportunities for all local Catholics to foster unity, says cardinal

Synod to prompt new thinking
Pastoral center in Ho Chi Minh City reporter, Ho Chi Minh City

February 17, 2011

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An archdiocese in southern Vietnam plans to hold a synod at the end of this year to promote innovation in the local Church’s life and foster community and unity among Catholics. “The archdiocesan synod is needed to create opportunities for all local Catholics to foster communion, fraternity and unity and stimulate innovations in their faith life,” said Cardinal Jean Baptiste Pham Minh Man of Ho Chi Minh City. The synod will take place November 21-25 at the city's Pastoral Center. Some 250 local priests, religious and lay leaders are expected to attend. Cardinal Man, 76, said the synod’s secretariat including experts in theology, Scriptures, liturgy, canon law and ministry will be established soon to facilitate innovations in staff and pastoral training, ways of faith practice and ministry of Church organizations, congregations, societies and parishes, and ways of prayers. “Those innovations aim to make the family of the archdiocese the Church of Christ for people and among the nation,” he noted. He said on the basis of proposals made at last year's Congress of God’s People and post-congress documents, local Catholics are expected to give their ideas to the synod. The cardinal noted living under the communist rule since 1975, many local Catholics act in self-defence to survive, others support the government’s policies and some see their faith practices are limited and the local Church is repressed by the government. He said after 1975, 120,000 local Catholics and 300 priests moved to other places or fled to foreign countries. 400 local Church facilities were confiscated, he added. In 2009, the archdiocese established in 1960 had 662,000 in 200 parishes served by 650 priests and 4,750 religious. 79 local congregations and societies run 190 vocational, charity and day care centers. Related reports: Church finalizes jubilee year celebration plans Pope: Jubilee Year a time for reconciliation in Vietnam VT13299.1641
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