Pope Meets With Vietnam's Prime Minister

Express Hope to Resolve Issues Through Existing Channels of Dialogue

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On the final day of the Synod of Bishops on the Family, Pope Francis met with Vietnam’s political leader to discuss how to increase relations with the Asian nation.

This Saturday, the Holy Father received in audience the prime minister of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam, Nguyen Tan Dung, at the Vatican.

Roughly 87 million people live in Vietnam. Almost 50%of them are Buddhist, 20% are atheist and 7% of the population is Catholic.

In the course of the cordial conversations, the Parties expressed their satisfaction at today’s meeting, which marks an important step in the process of strengthening bilateral relations between the Holy See and Vietnam, this being the second visit of Prime Minister Dung to the Vatican, following that of 2007.

Appreciation was shown for how much the Church has been contributing to the Asian nation’s development though its presence in various areas which benefit society.

They also reflected on the support the authorities gave to the Catholic community in keeping with the developments sanctioned by the Constitution of 2013 with regard to religious policy.

Moreover, they expressed gratitude for the assistance given to the non-resident Papal Representative of the Holy See to Vietnam in whose mission is to promote relations between the Church and State while keeping in mind the common objective of enhanced diplomatic relations.

In addition to discussing some issues, the parties expressed their hope that such issues will not only be further examined, but also resolved through the existing channels of dialogue.

More than exchanging views on some current regional and international issues, the parties gave special attention to initiatives aimed at promoting peace and stability in Asia.

The Vietnamese PM subsequently met with Cardinal Secretary of State Pietro Parolin, accompanied by Archbishop Dominique Mamberti, secretary for Relations with States.

Just this September, the fifth meeting of the Joint Working Group of the Holy See and Vietnam had taken place in the Vietnamese capital of Hanoi in an attempt to deepen and develop the bilateral relationship between Vietnam and the Holy See, .

Earlier this year in March, Pope Francis had met with president of Vietnam’s parliament, Nguyen Sing Hung.

The Holy See has noted the violations of religious freedom in Vietnam on several occasions.


On ZENIT’s Web page:

Vatican Statement on Meeting: http://www.zenit.org/en/articles/vatican-statement-on-pope-s-meeting-with-vietnam-s-prime-minister-saturday

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