06/09/2008, 00.00
VIETNAM – VATICAN
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Holy See delegation in Hanoi

Led by Mgr Pietro Parolin the group will remain in the country till 15 June. During talks with Vietnam’s political leaders, diplomatic relations with the Holy See will be on the table, so will be the issue of property seized from the Church which local groups want back.

Hanoi (AsiaNews) – The visit to Vietnam by a Vatican delegation led by Mgr Pietro Parolin, undersecretary for relations with states, began today and will last till 15 June, state news agency VNA reported.

During its two-day stay in Hanoi, the Vatican delegation (the 15th to visit Vietnam) will be received by Deputy Prime Minister Pham Gia Khiem and hold a working session with the government’s Committee for Religious Affairs and visit the Party Central Committee’s Commission for External Relations and the Hanoi People’s Committee.

In Hanoi the representatives of the Holy See will also meet with officials of the local Catholic Church.

On 11 June the delegation will travel to Da Lat City in Central Highlands Lam Dong province, Ho Chi Minh City and the central provinces of Quang Tri and Thua Thien-Hue.

The delegation will visit various parishes as well as a pottery craft village in southern Binh Duong province.

The Vietnamese news agency has not however said anything about what the Vatican delegation will discuss with Vietnam’s authorities.

However, it is expected that the issue of diplomatic relations will be on the discussion table. Much has been done so far in advancing that file but there still is the stumbling block of some Church property and land seized by the authorities that local Vietnamese Church organisations want back.

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