Pope receives Vietnamese president, highlighting good relations and a "shared spirit of dialogue"

Francis met with Vietnamese President Tran Dai Quang. The meeting stressed the “constant search for the most appropriate tools to advance” bilateral relations as well as “The collaboration between Church and State in various domains of local society”.

Vatican City (AsiaNews) – Pope Francis met with the President of Vietnam, Tran Dai Quang, in a private audience on Wednesday, a statement from the Holy See Press Office announced.

"During the cordial talks, the good relations between the Holy See and Vietnam were mentioned, supported by a common spirit of dialogue and the constant search for the most appropriate tools to advance them. The collaboration between Church and State in various domains of local society was highlighted.”

The Vietnamese president also met with Secretary of State Card Pietro Parolin, accompanied by Mgr Paul Richard Gallagher, Secretary for Relations with States.

This is not the first time that a Vietnamese president visits the Vatican. On 9 December, Pope Benedict XVI met with then President Nguyen Minh Triet.

On that occasion, a Vatican statement noted that it was the first visit by a Vietnamese head of state to the Vatican,

The communiqué read, “The Holy See expressed its pleasure at the visit, a significant stage in the progress of bilateral relations with Vietnam, and expressed the hope that outstanding questions may be resolved as soon as possible.

What is more, “The cordial discussions provided an opportunity to touch upon certain themes concerning co-operation between Church and State.”

Today’s visit comes after the Vietnamese parliament approved a new ‘Law on beliefs and religions’.