Vatican City (AsiaNews) - At the end of the 5th meeting of the Joint Working Group, which took place in Hanoi yesterday and today (pictured), a joint statement was issued in the Vatican noting "with satisfaction the positive developments in Viet Nam-Holy See relations".
The statement said that "The meeting took place in a sincere, candid and mutually respectful atmosphere," noting that the Holy See delegation, led by Under Secretary for the Holy See's Relations with States Mgr Antoine Camilleri "reaffirmed that it attached great importance to the development of relations with Viet Nam in particular and Asia in general, as evidenced by the recent and coming papal trips to the continent," as well as "its commitment towards the goal of establishing diplomatic relations with Viet Nam."
With reference to the life of the country's Catholic community, the statement noted, "The Holy See delegation appreciated the support given by the competent authorities at all levels to the Catholic Church in Viet Nam for her accomplishment of mission."
The Holy See, "together with the Catholic Church in the country, wishes to make more active contributions to the country's development where the Catholic Church has strengths, for example health care, education, charity and humanitarian works."
For its part, the Vietnamese delegation, led by Deputy Foreign Minister Bui Thanh Son, "reiterated the consistent policy of the State and Party in respecting freedom of religion and belief of all people and supporting the Catholic Church in Viet Nam to actively participate in the national social-economic development."
"The two sides emphasized again the underlying principles of 'living the Gospel within the Nation' and 'good Catholic being good citizens'. The Holy See delegation stressed that Pope Francis had followed with interest recent developments in Viet Nam-Holy See relations and encouraged the Catholic Community in Viet Nam to continue contributing forwards the country's major goals."
Both parties "agreed on maintaining dialogue and contacts while creating favourable conditions for his mission, as he [the pontifical representative] helps the Catholic Church in Viet Nam to implement papal teaching.
Likewise, "The two sides agreed to convene the 6th meeting of the Viet Nam-Holy See Joint Working Group in Vatican. The time of the meeting will be arranged through diplomatic channels. »
"On this occasion, the Holy See delegation paid courtesy call to the Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Foreign Affairs Pham Binh Minh and met with the Deputy Minister of Home Affaires, Chairman of the Government Committee for Religious Affairs Pham Dung. It also took the opportunity to visit some Catholic institutions in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City."