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National Catholic university opens in Vietnam

It is the first ever institution of its type since the country was reunified under communist rule in 1975

September 19, 2016

The first Catholic university that is expected to improve theological knowledge among Catholics in Vietnam has opened.

The Catholic Institute of Vietnam, the first ever one since the country was reunified under communist rule in 1975, was inaugurated on Sept. 14 in Ho Chi Minh City.

"The institute aims to enhance theological knowledge and competence among all priests, religious and laypeople," Bishop Joseph Dinh Duc Dao, rector of the institute, said at the opening ceremony. Theological understanding is very necessary for Catholics to live a true life of faith in a fast changing society, he added.

Bishop Dao, head of the Episcopal Commission for Catholic Education of Vietnamese bishops, said 23 students, most of them priests from dioceses and orders in the country, are attending the first master's theological course. They are among 37 candidates who took the entrance exam in July.

Bishop Dao hopes the institute will be a prestigious Catholic university and serve other churches in the region in the future.

The institute is temporarily based at the headquarters of the Catholic Bishops' Conference of Vietnam in the city.

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