07/25/2009, 00.00
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Encyclical: the teachings of Pope viewed by the people and the church in Vietnam

by J.B.VU
In Vietnam, the economic growth of recent years has forced into the background ethical formation. The impact of the global crisis is bringing out increasingly evident social issues. Caritas in Veritate is a help to the Church and the Vietnamese people to build a new vision of life and concretely combat the materialism of the government.

Ho Chi Minh City (AsiaNews) - In recent years, Vietnam is experiencing the biggest economic development in its history. With an average annual growth exceeding 6%, it is now one of the main economic players in South East Asia. Building on this development, the Communist government has focused only on economic issues. It pays little attention to social issues such as human rights, freedom of thought and religion. Local authorities aim to achieve maximum profit in the minimum time possible, forgetting the traditional values and culture of the country. This approach is causing dangerous social imbalances that every day become more evident.

Benedict XVI in his encyclical Spe Salvi stated that: " If technical progress is not matched by corresponding progress in man's ethical formation, in man's inner growth, then it is not progress at all, but a threat for man and for the world" (Spe Salvi No. 22).  

In light of the content expressed in the new encyclical Caritas in Veritate, the work of the Catholic Church is to help the poor and young people to move forward in faith and to address the daily problems by developing values such as love and brotherhood. 

Father Nguyen Van tan of the De la Salle Congregation tells AsiaNews; "our goal is to help young people progress in education and in life values”.  He continues saying that "it is as if we were on a river. As if we were a boat navigating the rapids of a fast river.  If we do not work together then, the ship of the family and the Christian community will founder and sink to the depths".

The current crisis is in fact bringing out into the light of day the limits of the system developed by the government. The head of the Vietnamese bishops' conference, Msgr. Peter Nguyen Van Nhon, wrote in a letter dated July 15 addressed to priests and laity that "now, Vietnam is beginning to suffer the impact of international economic crisis. Parents are focused on the income of their families. But parenthood is expressed through the education of children”.  In his message, the bishop also says that "we adults must sustain and admonish our children to live honestly. In particular we must set them good example by following God and His law. "

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