Vietnam to Host Asian Bishops' Meeting

HO CHI MINH CITY, Vietnam, FEB. 1, 2011 ( The 2012 meeting of the Federation of Asian Bishops’ Conferences is expected to be hosted by Vietnam. 

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Cardinal Jean-Baptiste Pham Minh Mân of Ho Chi Minh City reported the FABC decision to UCANews last week. 

The 2012 FABC assembly will be the group’s 10th; the meetings are held every four years. 

Cardinal Mân said the Church in Vietnam will report a list of participants to the government for approval one or two months prior to the assembly. After authorization is given, participants will then apply for their visas. 

Relations are steadily improving between the Holy See and the communist country, though Vietnam still restricts the organized activities of many religious groups, according to the U.S. State Department’s annual report on religious freedom. 

Last month Benedict XVI appointed Archbishop Leopoldo Girelli as a “non-residential pontifical representative” for the Asian country, a post that reflects the improvement in relations. 

FABC has 15 bishops’ conference members: Bangladesh, India, Indonesia, Japan, Kazakhstan, Korea, Laos-Cambodia, Malaysia-Singapore-Brunei, Myanmar, Pakistan, the Philippines, Sri Lanka, Taiwan, Thailand and Vietnam. It also has 10 associate members: Hong Kong, Macau, Mongolia, Nepal, Kyrgyzstan, Siberia (Russia), Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan and East Timor.

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