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  • » 02/18/2009, 00.00

    VIETNAM - VATICAN

    Church's situation in Vietnam is the focal point of diplomatic relations



    This is highlighted by statements today from the head of the Committee for Religious Affairs, who, in an interview, stresses that "no one must influence" the principle according to which the Church must "take the same road as the nation," and calls for "respect" for the country's laws and traditions.

    Hanoi (AsiaNews) - The difficulties that the Church is facing in Vietnam, and not only the establishing of diplomatic relations, are part of talks between the Hanoi government and the delegation from the Holy See that is visiting the country. Official confirmation comes from the president of the Committee for Religious Affairs, Nguyen The Doanh, in an interview published today by the state news agency VNS, highlighting the obstacles that Hanoi is setting up against normalized relations with the Vatican, in spite of the government's desire to achieve this.

    Clarifying what are the true problems that so far have blocked the formalization of diplomatic relations is the fact - significant in itself - that the person talking about a possible exchange of ambassadors is not the foreign minister, but the government official who deals with domestic religious questions. The official made a rather cryptic statement that echoes the threats repeatedly issued against the archbishop of Hanoi, Joseph Ngo Quang Kiet, and in general against those who fight for full respect for religious freedom. Nguyen The Doanh said that the Vatican and Vietnam "must be determined to pursue clear and healthy development, in which the maintenance and affirmation of the Vietnamese Catholic Church 'taking the same road as the nation' is of special and important significance. It should not be affected by negative thoughts and acts from any third party."

    Apart from this, his tone was distinctly positive, with specific references to the fact that since 1990 - or since the "new course" taken by Vietnam, which has set out on a road of "openness" - representatives from Hanoi and the Vatican have met 18 times, 16 of them, before the current one, in Vietnam. "It can also be confirmed that dialogue is the most suitable form of creating a friendly environment for the two sides to better understand each other and to jointly solve the issues of mutual concern for the common interest of each side. That is why the two sides are largely satisfied with the meetings."

    Despite this, "in my opinion, the most important factors that help boost the bilateral relations include, first of all, mutual respect, including respect for Vietnam’s independence and sovereignty, history, culture, traditions and laws; the sharing of and mutual respect for the differences along with the demonstration of goodwill in search of new ties between the two sides."

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    See also

    20/02/2009 VATICAN - VIETNAM
    Religious freedom, diplomatic relations in talks between Holy See and Hanoi
    A joint statement from the working group says there is an "atmosphere of openness," announces a second meeting at a time and venue that "will be agreed upon in due course," and reveals the Vatican's concern over the situation of the Church in the country.

    21/01/2005 VATICAN – VIETNAM
    A ray of hope for diplomatic ties between the Holy See and Vietnam
    State media say it is question of time. However, internal repression continues.

    19/02/2009 VIETNAM - VATICAN
    Talks between Vatican and Hanoi a "basis for further progress"
    This is the view expressed by Monsignor Pietro Parolin. Full respect for religious freedom seems to remain the central issue for relations between the Holy See and the Vietnamese government. According to some analysts, the government is continuing the talks only in order to show the international community a facade of respect for human rights.

    27/02/2012 VIETNAM - VATICAN
    Holy See and Vietnam discuss opening of diplomatic relations
    Third meeting of the Joint Working Group begins today in Hanoi. The Church of Vietnam, concerned about the repeated violence by local authorities against the faithful and religious, accompanies talks with prayer.

    02/10/2006 PAKISTAN - VATICAN
    Muslims in Pakistan: "We respect pope; his speech was used"

    When interviewed, Muslim clerics and scholars accused the media and "forces against peace" of using the pope's words to sow seeds of hatred among Christians and Muslims. There were calls to dialogue and great appreciation for the explanation of Benedict XVI and his meeting with Muslim ambassadors.





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