Church leaders and representatives from dioceses posing for a group photo at the ceremony
The local Catholic Church has launched an Episcopal commission to promote human values and develop social communities.
The Episcopal Commission for Justice and Peace
of the Vietnam Bishops’ Conference was launched at the Pastoral Center in Ho Chi Minh City on May 27 at a ceremony attended by 260 priests, Religious and laypeople.
“The commission aims to serve the truth in space and time circumstances to build a society based on human values, dignity and vocations of people in the country,” said Bishop Paul Nguyen Thai Hop of Vinh, head of the commission established last October by Vietnam bishops.
Bishop Hop said in principle his commission also promotes justice and peace, struggles for social justice, human rights, religious freedom, development and solidarity among people, fosters democratization process, and works for benefits of underprivileged and oppressed people according to Gospel values.
He said the commission plans to outline action plans and train personnel for local dioceses.
Father Anthony Nguyen Ngoc Son, secretary general of the commission, said the commission also promotes environmental protection and pro-life activities, and builds centers for victims of social injustice.
Some at the ceremony suggested the local Church help resolve land disputes; fight poverty, religious limitations in remote areas and social evils; and work for women’s dignity and ethnic groups’ interests. The local Church must participate in health care and educational activities, they added.
Cardinal Man said patriotism and building the country are rights of all people but the government still seems to be afraid of local Catholics using those rights to serve the country.
He expressed his hope that the commission’s activities will help the government allay its fears so as to be open to and have dialogues with the local Church.
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