President Võ Văn Thưởng pays visit to Catholic Bishops' Conference of Vietnam


President Võ Văn Thưởng visited the Catholic Bishops' Conference of Vietnam (CBCV) at its office in Ho Chi Minh City on August 7.

Accompanying the President included Deputy Minister of Home Affairs Vũ Chiến Thắng, Chairman of the Government Committee for Religious Affairs Vũ Hoài Bắc, and representatives from ministries, central agencies and Ho Chi Minh municipal  authorities.

Welcoming the guests were Archbishop Joseph Nguyễn Năng, President of the CBCV cum Archbishop of Ho Chi Minh city Archdiocese, Archbishop Joseph Vũ Văn Thiên, Vice President of the CBCV cum Archbishop of Hanoi Archdiocese, Bishop Joseph Đỗ Mạnh Hùng, General Secretary of the CBCV cum Bishop of Phan Thiet diocese, and other bishops, priests and sisters.

At the visiting reception, President Võ Văn Thưởng extended best wishes to Archbishop Joseph Nguyễn Năng, other bishops, priests, clergies, and the Catholic community in the country.

The President highlighted practical contributions made by the Catholic countrymen for socio-economic development of the country and affirmed that the Vietnam State always stays consistent to the policy of ensuring and respecting the freedom to belief and religion.

Briefing the conference on his visit to the Vatican on July 27, President Võ Văn Thưởng said that he had meetings with Pope Francis and Cardinal Pietro Parolin, Secretary of State of the Vatican on upgrading the diplomatic relation and recalled the Pope’s fine teaching and messages for the Church and the Catholic community in Vietnam such as "good Catholics are good citizens”.

He regarded these teaching and messages as important principals for the Vietnam Catholic church, and expressed hope that Pope Francis would have a new message, guiding the Church and the Catholic community in Vietnam to respect God and love the country, accompany with the nation and proactively make contributions for the development of the country.

For his part, Archbishop Joseph Nguyễn Năng took the chance to thank the President for his visit and expressed his delight at the new development period of fine relations between Vietnam and Vatican.

The Archbishop affirmed that Vietnam Catholic community would continue living the gospel, responding to the call of the Church and the Pope and contributing to the development of the country.

Phan Hường