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  • » 01/22/2013, 00.00


    One step closer to diplomatic relations between the Vatican and Hanoi

    Benedict XVI received the Secretary General of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Vietnam Nguyen Phu Trong. A statement from the Holy See speaks of "cordial discussions" and “the hope that some pending situations may be resolved and that the existing fruitful cooperation may be strengthened."

    Vatican City (AsiaNews) - Another, important step towards the "normalization" of relations between the Holy See and Vietnam. This i show today's visit with to Benedict XVI by the Secretary General of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Vietnam Nguyen Nguyên Phu Trong, is being read. The man, who is the real center of power in the country, arrived in the Vatican at a time when, in Vietnam, there are few tensions between the Church and the political authorities, the latest being the heavy prison sentences handed out to 13 Catholics and the destruction of the Carmelite convent in Hanoi.

    Trong was received with full protocol - on arrival he was greeted in the courtyard of San Damaso by the prefect of the Pontifical Household, Msgr. Georg Gaenswein, the Pope came to greet him in the throne room - and a Vatican press release describes talks with Pope Benedict XVI ", and then with Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, Secretary of State, and Mgr. Dominique Mamberti, Secretary for Relations with States, as "friendly.

    As for their content, the Vatican statement speaks of "the hope that some pending situations may be resolved and that the existing fruitful cooperation may be strengthened."

    If the "pending situations" are reminiscent of the tensions between the Church and the authorities in Vietnam, the "fruitful cooperation" refers to the relations - not diplomatic - launched with the visit of Prime Minister Nguye'n Tan Dung (pictured) to the Vatican, January 25, 2007.

    That meeting, came after more than 20 visits carried out since 1973 to Vietnam by Vatican delegations at various levels, which opened the possibility for the Holy See to appoint a "papal representative", although non-resident, after the interruption of diplomatic relations following the fall of Saigon in 1975.

    The appointment of the Pope's representative - Msgr. Leopoldo Girelli - was accompanied by the possibility of regularizing the situation of the 26 dioceses of the country. After decades of hardship and vetoes, since 2008, the Holy See has appointed seven bishops and the bishops have ordained hundreds of priests, steps which had previously been fraught with difficulties. And Msgr. Girelli was able to visit all 26 dioceses in the country, meeting thousands of priests and hundreds of thousands of faithful.

    Since February 2009, there has been a joint Vietnam-Vatican working group to study the possibility of establishing diplomatic relations.

    All this seems to prevail in the Vatican over the protests in some Catholic circles against the Communist Party exponent visit with the Pope, the harassment against the Catholic Church and the decree, which came into force earlier this year, which provides the government tools to strengthen its control over religion. (FP)

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    See also

    24/01/2013 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.

    11/12/2015 CHINA-VATICAN
    A winter of darkness for religions in China
    A summit on religions is planned for later this year to discuss new norms and restrictions governing their activities. The property of religions and their use of internet will also be under scrutiny. This "sinofication" of faiths at all costs threatens to empty communities of their religious and dogmatic content, transforming them into NGOs and puppets in the hands of those in power. The difficulties of dialogue with the Vatican. The CPC wants to eliminate anything that could damage its monopoly of power amid fears it could end up like the Soviet CP. The syndrome of the "USSR style collapse " and that of "suicide" by eliminating religions, is the only value system holding Chinese society together.

    24/07/2009 VIETNAM-VATICAN
    The President and the Government of Vietnam will visit the Vatican
    The news is given by Cardinal Pham Minh Man and confirmed by the government. The hope of the Catholics is to meet with Benedict XVI on the occasion of the special jubilee anniversary, which starts in November this year and ends Epiphany of 2011. New pastoral impetus in wake of bishops ad limina visit.

    27/06/2016 13:39:00 CHINA - VATICAN
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    The auxiliary bishop of Shanghai holds dear the welfare of his diocese and intends to carry alone the burden of his statements of four years ago. Fr Lombardi’s clarification on the role of the Holy See dispels any doubt: the Letter of Benedict XVI to the Chinese Church is still valid; thus the Chinese Patriotic Catholic Association's position is not accepted by the Vatican. A Chinese priest comments. Translation by AsiaNews.

    13/01/2011 VATICAN VIETNAM
    The Pope appoints his "representative" for Vietnam
    A significant step, although there are still no full diplomatic relations, broken since 1975. A slow journey out of respect for religious freedom. But for Vietnamese Catholics "normality" is still far off, contradicted by frequent incidents of abuse and violence by the authorities.

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