Last update: 11:36 | 19/01/2018
Under-Secretary for the Holy See’s Relations with States Antoine Camilleri met with Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc and senior officials of Vietnam in Hanoi on January 18, affirming that Pope Francis and the Holy See always want Vietnam – the Holy See relations to further develop.
Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc (R) recieves Under-Secretary for the Holy See’s Relations with States Antoine Camilleri
Welcoming the Vatican delegation, PM Phuc said the life of the Catholic community in Vietnam has continually improved, stressing that the country’s development achievements in 2017 were greatly contributed by Catholics nationwide.
He affirmed that the Vietnamese Government always promotes national solidarity and is consistent in respecting and ensuring the right to freedom of belief and religion of all people. It also pays special attention to developing areas of religious followers with disadvantages.
He expressed his delight at the maintenance of the joint working group mechanism, through which the two sides have kept dialogue and discussion to enhance mutual understanding and settle problems.
The PM added Vietnam hopes to intensify relations with the Holy See, including the exchange of high-ranking delegations.
Antoine Camilleri said he is impressed with Vietnam’s attainments, traditional culture, the diverse and dynamic life of Catholic followers, and the mixture of religious belief and culture in the country.
The Holy See wants to promote ties with Vietnam so as to continue contributing to local society, particularly in education, health care and charity, he noted, adding that the Pope always gives special attention to Vietnam and wants the Vietnam Catholic Church to contribute to the country’s prosperity.
He also thanked the Vietnamese Government for creating favourable conditions for the non-resident representative of the Vatican to work in the country.
Deputy PM and Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh (R) meets with Under-Secretary for the Holy See’s Relations with States Antoine Camilleri
Meeting with the Under-Secretary, Deputy PM and Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh said relations between Vietnam and the Holy See have developed in an encouraging trend over the past years as seen in the meetings between Vietnamese leaders and the Pope and the joint working group mechanism.
He emphasised Vietnam’s respect for the Catholicism’s positive values, adding that authorities at all levels have been providing optimal conditions for religious practices.
Minh asked the Holy See to continue instructing the Catholic community in Vietnam, the second biggest of its kind in Asia, to actively engage in national development and protection and comply with the State’s policies and law.
Camilleri reiterated that Pope Francis and the Holy See always wants bilateral relations to further develop. They have also continually encouraged Vietnamese Catholics to contribute to national development.
Also on January 18, the Vatican delegation had a working session with Deputy Foreign Minister Bui Thanh Son. The two sides informed each other about their respective situation, discussed issues of shared concern relating to the local Catholics, and worked out some measures for reinforcing ties.
Camilleri underlined that the Holy See always prioritises dialogue to soon settle existing problems. It also agrees to maintain cooperation and discussion to foster relations.
The same day, the visiting delegation had a working session with Chairman of the Government Committee for Religious Affairs Vu Chien Thang.-VNA