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Wednesday, July 17, 2024

Vietnam, Vatican set new milestone in bilateral ties

The Saigon Times

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HCMC – Vietnam and the Vatican are taking their ties to a new height, which is evident in the Vatican’s forthcoming dispatch of a resident papal representative to Hanoi City, Vietnam.

The sending of a resident papal representative to the Vietnamese capital is seen as a historic milestone in ties between the two sides since 1975.

The two sides signed the “Agreement on the Status of the Resident Papal Representative and the Office of the Resident Papal Representative in Vietnam”.

Vietnam’s President Vo Van Thuong visited the Vatican on July 27 at the invitation of Pope Francis. This is the first high-level meeting between Vietnam and the Holy See in the past seven years.

It took over 10 years to reach this final decision on the establishment of the resident representative office of the Vatican in Hanoi. This is a very important event for the two sides for advancing their relations and promoting activities of Vietnamese Catholics.

At the event, President Thuong and Pope Francis conveyed their gratitude for notable improvements in ties between Vietnam and the Vatican as well as the contributions of the Vietnamese Catholic community.

Commenting on the importance of the Vietnamese President’s visit to Vietnam-Vatican relations and the Catholic community in Vietnam, Deputy Foreign Minister Le Thi Thu Hang said that the relationship between the two sides has made positive progress over the years.

Hang said Vietnam always respects and guarantees freedom of belief and religion, fostering favorable conditions for religious activities, especially Catholic activities in line with Vietnamese Catholicism.

Previously, Pope Benedict XVI delivered teachings and messages calling on Vietnamese Catholics and dignitaries to follow the direction of “accompanying the country,” “good Catholics are also good citizens”, encouraging the Vietnamese Catholic community to contribute to the development of the country.

Currently, Catholic faithful account for over 7% of Vietnam’s population, which translates to almost seven million.

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