4 July, 2015 AsiaNews.it Twitter AsiaNews.it Facebook            

Help AsiaNews | About us | P.I.M.E. | | RssNewsletter | Mobile






mediazioni e arbitrati, risoluzione alternativa delle controversie e servizi di mediazione e arbitrato
e-mail this to a friend printable version


» 01/24/2013
VIETNAM - VATICAN
For Vietnamese Catholics, govt using the Vatican to cover up religious repression
The official press in the Communist nation censors meeting between Benedict XVI and Nguyên Phu Trong. Catholic media criticise the country's leaders for using the pope's goodwill and the Holy See's prestige to cover up its violations of human rights. The archbishop of Saigon turns down invitation to ceremony inagurating new, more restrictive rules on religious activities.

Hanoi (AsiaNews/EdA) - A meeting on Tuesday between Nguyên Phu Trong, secretary general the Communist Party of Vietnam and head of its Central Committee, and Benedict XVI has sparked contrasting reactions among Vietnamese Catholics, whilst the official press in the Asian country has censured the event. In a rare move, the pope received Mr Nguyen on a day when he does not normally receive guests. For many observers, the general secretary is the real power broker in the Communist state,

For foreign analysts and Vatican experts, the meeting is an important step towards the normalisation of relations. However, critics see the event as an attempt by Vietnamese leaders to take advantage of the pope's prestige to appease international public opinion. In the country itself, Vietnamese Catholics have their doubts about it.  

The meeting between the pontiff and a key member of Vietnam's leadership comes at a tense moment in the relationship between the local Church and the country's political authorities following the heavy prison sentences inflicted on13 Catholics and the destruction of the Carmelite convent in Hanoi.

Recent events have left Catholics in a gloomy spirit, as shown by commentaries posted on Vietcatholics News and VRN, the website of Vietnam's Redemptorists. Some commentators and readers accused Communist leaders of "using the good will and prestige of the Holy See" to sweep under the rug "the country's shortcomings in human rights and religious freedom".

They note past examples of this behaviour. The visit to the Holy See by then Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung on 25 January 2007 was followed by the arrest of Fr Nguyen Van Ly, and the visit by President Nguyen Minh Triet on 11 December 2009 was followed a month later by the demolition of the cross of Dong Chiem parish.

By contrast, Vietnam's official newspapers did not mention the meeting between the pope and Nguyên Phu Trong, even though they gave wide coverage to the visit by the secretary general and other high Communist leaders to Italy.

For many Catholics, the goal of establishing diplomatic relations between the Holy See and Vietnam cannot hide the fact that the Church and Catholics are harassed in Vietnam, as evinced by the recent adoption of a new law that increases controls on religions. In fact, the archbishop of Ho Chi Minh City refused to take part in an official ceremony marking the publication of the new decree.

Last month, the Religious Affairs Bureau had invited representatives of the archdiocese to the ceremony held on 24 December, but Card Pham Minh Man turned down the invitation, saying that he had too many services to attend to on Christmas Eve. In addition, he said that the presence of clergymen to "this kind of ceremony" organised by the government was "unnecessary".


e-mail this to a friend printable version

See also
01/22/2013 VATICAN - VIETNAM
One step closer to diplomatic relations between the Vatican and Hanoi
08/21/2014 CHINA-VATICAN
Chinese experts: cautious openings in relations with Vatican
by Wang Zhicheng
12/20/2008 CHINA - VATICAN
Beijing, Vatican must break with Taiwan and not interfere in domestic affairs
by Wang Zhicheng
05/05/2008 VIETNAM – VATICAN
Hanoi waiting for Vatican delegation in the “near future”
by JB. VU
05/08/2008 CHINA - VATICAN
Chinese websites on the concert of the Beijing orchestra for the pope

Editor's choices
ISLAM - MIDDLE EAST
Al Azhar and Vatican against terrorism. The ambiguity of the international community
by Bernardo CervelleraThe influential Sunni university denounces " heinous" violence of the Islamic state and demands the world defeat this group “through every possible means". Vatican: terrorism is a threat to all humanity. France claims to fight terrorism, but then sells weapons, aircraft, helicopter gunships to Saudi Arabia, which supports Islamic fundamentalism. Kuwait tolerates Salafis who support the Nusra Front and the Islamic state. Turkey against the Kurds; the United States against Iran, Russia and China.
TUNISIA - ISLAM
Tunis, stop terrorism by closing fundamentalist mosquesPresident Essebsi believes unified and global strategy needed to counter terrorism. The attack in Sousse almost simultaneous with those in France, Kuwait, Somalia. Islamic State claims responsibility.
VATICAN – ITALY
Pope in Turin tells young people to be chaste in love, go against the flow and not retire at 20In his last meeting on the first day of his visit to Turin, Francis met young people in Vittorio Square. In a Question and Answer exchange, he talked about love, friendship and loss of trust towards life. "I understand you. How many hypocrites speak of peace and sell weapons. How can one trust? By following Christ, whose act of extreme love, i.e. the Cross, saved humanity." The pontiff also looked at the horrors of the 20th century as evidence of the loss of trust towards world powers. He urged young people “not to retire at 20,” but “live, don’t just exist.”

Dossier

Copyright © 2003 AsiaNews C.F. 00889190153 All rights reserved. Content on this site is made available for personal, non-commercial use only. You may not reproduce, republish, sell or otherwise distribute the content or any modified or altered versions of it without the express written permission of the editor. Photos on AsiaNews.it are largely taken from the internet and thus considered to be in the public domain. Anyone contrary to their publication need only contact the editorial office which will immediately proceed to remove the photos.