Pope's Representative to Vietnam Makes 2nd Trip to Nation

BAC NINH, Vietnam, JUNE 14, 2011 (Zenit.org).- Benedict XVI’s representative to Vietnam is in the midst of a two-week pastoral visit to the north of the nation.

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Archbishop Leopoldo Girelli, who was named the «non-residential pontifical representative» at the beginning of the year, is making his second visit to Vietnam, reported Eglises d’Asie, the news agency of the Foreign Missions of Paris. At the end of April, he visited Hanoi and Saigon.

His status as a pontifical representative is recognized as a sign of improving relations between Vietnam, considered a nation that violates religious liberty, and the Vatican.

Archbishop Girelli’s itinerary includes five dioceses. A highlight of his trip has been a Mass with some 500 young people preparing a youth event for November.

The event gathers thousands of Catholic youth from northern Vietnam. The Diocese of Bac Ninh will host this meeting on Nov. 11, and at least 20,000 participants are expected.

In his address to the youth, Archbishop Girelli exhorted them to plan a future project asking themselves «what they can do for the Church and what they can do for their country.»

The Vatican representative has also met with religious of the Diocese of Bac Ninh, and, according to official media, the vice-president of the provincial popular committee.

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