Viet Nam, the Holy See work to strengthen relations

Permanent Deputy Prime Minister Pham Binh Minh on April 22 received Monsignor Mirosław Stanisław Wachowski, Undersecretary for the Holy See’s Relations with States, who is on a visit to Viet Nam to co-chair the 9th round meeting of the two sides’ joint working group.
Thứ trưởng Ngoại giao Hà Kim Ngọc và Thứ trưởng Miroslaw Wachowski đã đồng chủ trì cuộc họp vòng IX Nhóm Công tác hỗn hợp Việt Nam – Tòa thánh Vatican. (Ảnh: Nguyễn Hồng)
Vietnamese Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Ha Kim Ngoc and Monsignor Mirosław Stanisław Wachowski, Undersecretary for the Holy See’s Relations with States, co-chaired the 9th round meeting of the joint working group on April 22. (Photo: Nguyen Hong)

Expressing his delight at the strides in Viet Nam - Vatican relations, Deputy PM Minh said mutual visits by senior leaders and meetings of the joint working group will help tighten bilateral links and meet common interests of both sides, as well as the interests of the Catholic community in Viet Nam.

He asked the Holy See to continue guiding the Catholic community to stay side by side with the nation and adhere to laws, thereby helping promote the good image of Catholicism in Viet Nam and step up bilateral ties.

Undersecretary Stanisław Wachowski affirmed that Pope Francis and the Holy See always hope bilateral relations will continue developing, thus creating conditions for Viet Nam’s Catholic community to actively contribute to national development.

He agreed on measures for bolstering bilateral connections in the time ahead, especially increasing meetings and maintaining the existing consultation mechanisms.

On this occasion, Deputy PM Minh conveyed PM Pham Minh Chinh’s invitation to visit Viet Nam to the Vatican Secretary of State, Cardinal Pietro Parolin.

Also on April 22, Vietnamese Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Ha Kim Ngoc and Undersecretary Stanisław Wachowski co-chaired the 9th round meeting of the joint working group.

Ngoc provided brief information about the local socio-economic situation, particularly the COVID-19 pandemic put under control, the macro-economic kept stable, and living conditions of people, including Catholics, ensured.

On behalf of the Vietnamese Government, he appreciated Pope Francis’s decision to give 100,000 EUR (108,000 USD) in aid to the Catholic community in Viet Nam in August last year, when the country faced complex developments of the pandemic.

He also highly valued the Vietnamese Catholic Church’s donation to the COVID-19 vaccine fund, as well as Catholic priests, monks, and followers’ engagement in the frontline forces against the pandemic.

Deputy Foreign Minister Ngoc emphasised Viet Nam’s consistent policy of respecting and ensuring people’s freedom of religion or belief, and that all-level authorities in Viet Nam have always paid attention to the Catholic Church’s demand and created conditions for the Catholic community to practise and develop.

The Vatican Undersecretary thanked the Vietnamese Government for its attention to and favourable conditions for the religious practice and events of the Vietnamese Catholic Church.

He also conveyed Pope Francis’s best wishes to the Catholic Church in Viet Nam and repeated the Pope’s teaching to Catholic followers that is “living the Gospel amidst the nation” and “a good parishioner must be a good citizen”.

At the meeting, the two sides shared the view that the Viet Nam - Vatican relations are growing well, applauding the effective and flexible maintenance of exchange mechanisms, particularly amid the COVID-19 pandemic, along with the role of the Holy See’s non-resident special envoy to Viet Nam so as to help enhance mutual understanding and foster bilateral cooperation.

They also discussed issues related to the draft regulations on activities of the Holy See’s resident special envoy and the resident special envoy’s office in Viet Nam, in line with the roadmap for elevating the Viet Nam - Vatican relations.

They agreed to continue maintaining exchanges and contacts at all levels to promote bilateral ties on the basis of cooperation, dialogue, and mutual respect.

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(Source: VNA)