After years of isolation, the Vietnamese people have a “desire for openness” and to fit into today’s globalized world, according to the Archbishop of Ho Chi Minh City, Cardinal Jean-Baptiste Pham Minh Man.
The meeting of the Federation of Asian Bishops Conferences (FABC) which will take place in Vietnam for the first time in 2012 is an extraordinary opportunity to “share a unifying experience and bring a message of love to Asia,” Cardinal Man told Fides.
It is also a sign of the desire of the beginnings of being able to breathe in the country where Christians are called to “shine the light of Christ,” he continued.
The local Church will make the properties of the Archdiocesan Pastoral Centre and Seminary in Xuan Loc available to accommodate over 100 delegates from 15 member countries of the FABC. The FABC strongly wanted Vietnam to host the event as a sign of support, fellowship and closeness to the faithful of the Asian Churches to the Vietnamese faithful.
“The meeting of Asian Bishops in Vietnam will be an opportunity for Vietnamese Catholics to unite with the faithful from across Asia, to share their experience and witness of the Word of God and to carry a message of love to Asia,” Cardinal Man said.
“It will be an opportunity to announce the Gospel of Christ, so we are all united as one family, so that we can build a culture of life and a society of love for Asian people.
Cardinal Man called on the Vietnamese Church to prepare for the event through prayer and becoming “united in communion”.
“We are called to overcome ‘the culture of death’ in a society afflicted by injustice, the divide between rich and poor, by devastating social ills such as abortion, AIDS, sexual violence, and the abandonment of children,” the cardinal continued. “We Christians wish to build a civilisation of love, to overcome these evils, to promote a culture of life for present and future generations.”
Cardinal Man alsp welcomed the appointment of the Apostolic Nuncio “non-resident representative” for Vietnam.
“I hope that the Holy See may help the people of God in Vietnam to shine the truth and love of Christ, persevering through dialogue and through collaboration with all citizens: teachers, intellectuals, wealthy, poor, civil authorities and members of other religions,” he said.
From the meeting of Asian Bishops hopes for peace and unity