While in Vatican, the delegation had working sessions with Mr. Tadeusz Wojda, Under -Secretary of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples, and Mr. Antoine Camilleri, Under-Secretary for Relations with States, attended a general meeting with Pope Francis, and visited the Vatican Radio. Attending the working sessions was Mr. Nguyễn Hoàng Long, Vietnamese Ambassador to Italy.
Mr. Pham Dzung,Deputy Minister of Home Affairs and Chairman of the Government Committee for Religious Affairs, and Pope Francis in Vatican
At the working sessions, Mr. Pham Dzung informed the hosts of the religious situation in Vietnam. He said that Vietnam now has 37 recognized religious organizations with about 24 million followers. Catholicism ranks second in the number of believers. The religions co-exist peacefully and there is no religious conflict in Vietnam. He affirmed Vietnam’s consistent policy of respecting freedom of belief and religion, and creating favorable conditions for religions to operate in conformity with the law. This policy has provided opportunities for religions to join in economic, cultural and social activities… Especially, the religious policy of Vietnam is in line with international practice on human rights and freedom of belief and religion in the 1948 Declaration of the United Nations in Teheran. Most Catholics abide by the State’s policies and law, respect God and love the Nation follow Pope Benedict XVI’s words “a good Catholic is a good citizen,” and Pastoral Letter 1980 of Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Vietnam “be closely attached to, and in company with the nation”. The State and people of Vietnam recognize and highly value the Catholics’ great contributions to the cause of national construction and defense. Vietnam also appreciates the care of the Pope and the Vatican for poor people as well as for peace and stability in the world
Mr. Pham DzungDeputy Minister of Home Affairs and Chairman of the Government Committee for Religious Affairs and Mr. Tadeusz Wojda, Under- Secretary of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples
The Vatican side, for their part, valued progress made in its relations with Vietnam as well as the Vietnam Government’s attention and support to activities of the Vietnam Catholic Church over the past time, including pastoral visits of the Vatican’s non-resident Special Envoy to Vietnam, Archbishop Leopoldo Girelli. The Vatican expressed hope for further developing its relations with Vietnam. The Vatican representatives said that the Catholics in Vietnam need to respect the authorities and obey the policies and law of the country. Both sides should firmly maintain their dialogue via the Vatican’s non-resident special envoy to Vietnam. The Holy See will exert every effort to work with the Government of Vietnam in solving existing problems in order to boost bilateral ties.
On September 18, 2013 the Vietnamese delegation attended the general meeting between Pope Francis and nearly 200,000 parishioners, priests, bishops, Cardinals and some international delegations in St Peter’s Square. On behalf of the Vietnamese delegation, Mr. Pham Dzung thanked Pope Francis for his warm welcome. He wished Pope Francis good health, and with his prestige and virtue to continue making contributions to the world stability and development. He expressed his hope that the Pope will continue to encourage the Vietnamese Catholic dignitaries and parishioners to make more active contributions to the national construction and development, abide by the law and contribute to developing fine bilateral relations between the Vatican and Vietnam. Pope Francis thanked the Vietnam Government Committee for Religious Affairs and said he has taken interest in Vietnam since the wartime, Vietnam was always in his heart when he was young./.
Here are some images of the Vietnamese delegation during the Vatican visit
Pope Francis contemplates a Jesus statue presented by the Vietnamese Government Committee for Religious Affairs
The delegation of Vietnam Government Committee for Religious Affairs works with the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples of the Vatican
The delegation works with the Vatican Department of Relations with States
The delegation visits the Vatican Radio
The delegation visits the Vietnamese Embassy in Italy
Bảo Châu - Trí Dũng