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2013-09-19

ASIA/VIETNAM - Dialogue with the Holy See, tension in the diocese of Vinh

Vatican City ( Agenzia Fides) - Dialogue between the Holy See and Vietnam continues on a path of good relations and cooperation, while there is tension in the diocese of Vinh, where protests continue over the arrest of two faithful of the Church of My Yen, in prison since last June without an accusation. As Fides learns, the issue was highlighted during the visit of a delegation of the Committee for Religious Affairs of the Vietnamese Government, at the Vatican from September 15 to 20. The Vietnamese delegation met with the Under-Secretary of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples, Mgr. Tadeusz Wojda, and the Under-Secretary for Relations with States, Mgr. Antoine Camilleri, who also participated in the general audience held by Pope Francis on 18 September.
As reported to Fides, dialogues took place , in a relaxed and friendly environment, the delegation stressed that the Vietnamese government is committed to ensuring the right to freedom of religion and to "fight against elements that cause social instability". He also expressed the hope that Vietnamese believers are actively involved in the construction and development of the country.
The Holy See noted "the positive developments in the bilateral relations" , appreciating the government's support with regards to the activities of the Vietnamese Catholic Church, guaranteed by the non-resident Representative of the Holy See in Vietnam, Archbishop Leopoldo Girelli. The Catholic seminaries, for example, no longer have a "limited number of new entries" imposed by the government (as in the past), and today the candidates for priesthood continue to grow. Ensuring that Vietnamese Catholics respect the authorities, policies and laws of Vietnam, we noted the tense situation in the diocese of Vinh, which will merit "further investigation". The Church - he concluded - will work for the good of the Vietnamese people and this is why it has the desire to engage in the field of education, opening schools and educational institutions: as hoped, it would be a sign of further strengthening of bilateral relations. (PA) (Agenzia Fides 19/09/2013)

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