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Vietnam minister showers praises on Catholic Church

Deputy home minister Vu Chien Thang did not rule out the possibility of a papal visit to the communist nation
Archbishop Marek Zalewski, first resident papal representative to Vietnam, blesses children at a function in the country on Feb. 16.

Archbishop Marek Zalewski, first resident papal representative to Vietnam, blesses children at a function in the country on Feb. 16. (Photo: giaophanhunghoa.org)

 

Published: March 07, 2024 11:43 AM GMT
Updated: March 07, 2024 11:51 AM GMT

The Vatican-Vietnam ties will develop further in the coming days and there is a plan for a papal visit to the Southeast Asian nation, says a top Vietnam minister.

Deputy Home Minister Vu Chien Thang also said Vietnam and the Vatican respect each other to work towards a friendly relationship.

Thang said the bilateral agreements both the parties signed recently are based on a road map and the international conventions, reported www.dangcongsan.vn, controlled by the ruling Communist Party of Vietnam, on March 6.

The thaw in relations helped the Vatican to appoint Archbishop Marek Zalewski as the first resident pontifical representative to Vietnam last December.

The government is happy to receive Pope Francis, Thang said amid media reports about a possible papal visit to Vietnam this year. 

"The pope considers dialogue between the Holy See and Vietnam a model of mutual trust," he said.

Thang, a former head of the Government Committee for Religious Affairs, said the ties would create a favorable condition for the local Church to integrate with the Universal Church.

The relationship between both sides “is developing well,” he noted.

Vietnam is the only communist country where the Holy See has a resident pontifical representative. Other communist Asian countries –  China, Laos and North Korea – have no papal envoys.

The government will ensure people's rights to practice religion, the minister added.

Thang said Vietnam’s bilateral relations with the Vatican promise not to interfere in each other’s internal affairs.

Thang complimented seven million Catholics in the country on their positive contributions to improving the relations with the Vatican.

They work in healthcare, educational, and humanitarian fields, Thang said about Christians in the country.

"There is a beautiful image of the Catholic Church in the nation's heart," he said.

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