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    » 02/24/2012, 00.00

    VATICAN - VIETNAM

    Holy See-Vietnam Working Group to meet in late February



    The meeting will take place in Hanoi on 27-28 February. The non-residential pontifical representative has already met almost all of the country's bishops and their respective communities. Tensions remain over religious freedom, compounded by corruption in high places.

    Vatican City (AsiaNews) - The Holy See-Vietnam Joint Working Group will hold its third meeting in Hanoi at the end of February. The group is tasked with setting the bases for diplomatic relations.

    In a brief communiqué, the Vatican Information Service reported, "In accordance with the decision taken at the end of the second meeting of the Vietnam-Holy See Joint Working Group, held in the Vatican on 23 and 24 June 2010, the third meeting of the Joint Working Group will take place in Hanoi, Vietnam, on 27 and 28 February. Following a number of visits by the non-resident Pontifical representative to Vietnam, the meeting will serve to strengthen and develop bilateral relations."

    The Working Group was set up in February 2009 after years of informal talks to study the possibility of establishing diplomatic relations between the Holy See and the Socialist Republic of Vietnam.

    As a result of the group's work, Benedict XVI appointed Mgr Leopoldo Girelli as non-residential pontifical representative to Vietnam. Although not a full nuncio and based in Singapore, Mgr Girelli has been able to visit the country and meet almost of its bishops and their respective communities.

    Like in China, Vietnam has embarked on economic reforms but is reticent about political change that would guarantee religious freedom to the country's Christians (and Buddhists).

    In recent years, Catholics have been the victims of several episodes of violence. Evangelisation is especially discouraged in the North and Church property (land and buildings) has been confiscated.

    At the same time, Catholics have become more involved in society, unofficially tolerated by the authorities to deal with issues like health care (leprosy), senior citizens and education, which are progressively disregarded by increasingly corrupt government officials.

     

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    See also

    11/09/2014 VATICAN CITY - VIETNAM
    "Positive developments in Viet Nam-Holy See relations"
    The fifth meeting of the Working Group ends with a joint statement. In it, the Vatican "reaffirmed its commitment towards the goal of establishing diplomatic relations with Viet Nam," with the latter reiterating "the consistent policy of the State and Party in respecting freedom of religion and belief of all people".

    16/06/2008 VIETNAM – VATICAN
    Visit by Holy See delegation a success
    According to official Vietnamese news agency, the date for the start of a joint group will be set as soon as possible; its task is to examine the “process of developing bilateral relations”.

    13/06/2008 VIETNAM – VATICAN
    Working group to discuss diplomatic relations between Hanoi and Holy See
    According to official VNA news agency, a decision in that sense was taken during talks between the Vatican undersecretary for relations with states and Vietnam’s authorities.

    08/09/2014 VIETNAM - VATICAN
    Vatican and Vietnam meet again to improve bilateral relations and the life of Catholics
    The fifth meeting of the Joint Working Group will be held on 10 and 11 September in Hanoi. Full diplomatic relations and the issue of respect for religious freedom, which is severely restricted, will be discussed.

    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.



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