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Vietnam’s first Catholic university could be built within a year

The establishment of the university marks a historical turning point for the Church in Vietnam

Paola Affatato for Vatican Insider

July 14, 2014

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Vietnam’s first Catholic university is no longer a mirage. It is very soon going to become a reality, in fact according to Paul Bui Van Doc, Archbishop of Ho Chi Minh City, the structure could be ready within a year. It is going to mark a crucial turning point in the history of the Vietnamese Catholic Church, the sign of an eagerly awaited return to the freedom of education, which the communist government has denied the people for 60 years. 

The Archbishop of former Saigon, proudly explained to Vatican Insider that “the dialogic approach adopted with the government is producing results.” As bilateral relations gradually relax, he said, bishops have pointed out that more and more universities and private campuses run by foreign Asian, Australian and European entities and universities have been popping up over the past decade. The first of these was established in 2001. “Why then should the Catholic Church in Vietnam be deprived of this right? Particularly given the shortcomings in the national education system, which are evident from the figures on Vietnamese education.” The Catholic Church can offer its educational philosophy and experience to educate people into becoming responsible individuals, for the good of the entire society,” the president of the local Episcopate said.

Having been kept out of the state-monopolized educational system for decades, bishops developed the project and took action once they found a gap in the institutions. They looked into forging a partnership with the prestigious Catholic University of Paris and came up with the idea of establishing an advanced Institute of theological studies in Ho Chi Minh City. Simultaneously, bishops sought pontifical status for the new Institution from the Vatican Congregation for Catholic Education. Archbishop Paul Bui Van Doc said this will be granted “very soon now.” The project quickly ended up on the desks of officials in the Vietnamese ministry of education and judging from the first interviews and informal communication established, a lot of headway has been made in the process of obtaining government authorization.

“We are confident. It will mark an important step forward for the common good of the country, a sign of great hope for a brighter future for Vietnam," Bui Van Doc said.


Full Story: Vietnam is to have its first Catholic university

Source: Vatican Insider

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