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Ho Chi Minh City gathers for synod

Faithful expect gathering break down barriers,help the old, reach out to people

  • ucanews.com reporter, Ho Chi Minh City
  • Vietnam
  • November 21, 2011
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Readers of a Catholic weekly expect Ho Chi Minh City archdiocese’s synod this week to discuss ways of promoting solidarity among clergy, provide proper pastoral care for internal migrant workers and young people, and engage more in social life.

“We believe the synod will look to promote improved relations among local priests and between the clergy and laypeople,” said Xuan Ngoc, a layman.

He said there is a big gulf between local priests.

Young ones are considered “junior ranks” by the older ones who, in return, are considered “backward, cold and distant,” he explained.

“If the clergy lacks solidarity and fraternity, they will not forge good relationships with laypeople,” he said.

Xuan Ngoc and other readers were expressing their opinions about the synod in the November 11-17 issue of the government-sanctioned Cong Giao va Dan Toc (Catholicism and Nation) weekly.

The synod, which starts today, will see 200 priests, Religious and Catholics from 200 parishes and 58 congregations in the archdiocese gather at the Pastoral Center.

Hai Son suggested the synod discuss ways of providing support for retired clergy and Religious. “They are abandoned and lonely,” said the reader, who regularly visits them.

He said retired clergy are not invited to attend the five-day event.

Trong Hoang said the local Church does not provide proper pastoral care for hundreds of thousands of internal migrant workers who are vulnerable living away from home.

“The local Church needs to do something to help them,” he said.

Cardinal Jean Baptiste Pham Minh Man said the synod will aim to create opportunities for all people to overcome negative attitudes, integrate in secular activities, foster close communion in the local Church and find the proper fulfillment of proclamation of the Good News.

It will also encourage people to work together to improve the local Church, he added.

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