08/05/2011, 00.00
VIETNAM
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Redemptorists teach Church’s social doctrine in Ho Chi Minh City

by J.B. Vu
Each Sunday, Catholics meet to listen to the priests teaching. Sessions are free and open to active participation on a range of issues. Since 2009, the Redemptorists have launched study groups and published information material for local parishes and remote communities.
Ho Chi Minh City (AsiaNews) – Ho Chi Minh City Redemptorists have organised a series of meetings to spread awareness and knowledge about the social doctrine of the Church. Starting on Sunday 31 July, Catholic parish association leaders and ordinary worshippers have been able to attend meetings each Sunday in which priests talk about a number of topics related to the Church’s social doctrine. Lectures are free and open to all. Participants are also encouraged to participate actively in the discussions.

In 2009, Vietnam’s Redemptorists set up a study group made up of volunteer researchers to look in depth into the Church’s social doctrines and the issues it covers. Since then, they have held various discussions, promoted research, and published brochures and information material for local parishes, other Catholic communities and Catholics living among the country’s remote ethnic groups.

Fr Vincent Pham Trung Thanh, Redemptorist provincial superior in Vietnam, spoke to AsiaNews about the importance of the “communion among the faithful”. He said that priests play an important role “in spreading the social teachings of the Catholic Church,” especially its Compendium of Social Doctrine.

During these meetings, values that are non-negotiable, like human dignity, salvation in God and the universality of the principles of justice and charity, are promoted (see J.B. Vu, “Vietnamese Priest: Church's social doctrine, to promote charity and justice,” in AsiaNews 25 May 2011).

On these occasions, Vietnamese Catholics are called to examine the message in the introduction to Benedict XVI’s encyclical Caritas in Veritate in which the Holy Father urges the faithful to live according to the principle of charity, each in his and her own family and social environment.

This principle inspires and guides the action of lay people and the clergy in Vietnam alike, based on the values of justice and peace that are embodied in Jesus Christ.
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