State President Võ Văn Thưởng paid on July 27 a visit to Vatican. Accompanying with the state president included Chairman of the Government Committee for Religious Affairs (GCRA) Vũ Hoài Bắc.
During the visit, the state president met with Pope Francis and Cardinal Secretary of State of the Vatican Pietro Parolin. On the occasion, the Government of Vietnam and the Holy See formally concluded the Agreement on the Status of the Resident Papal Representative and the Office of the Resident Papal Representative in Vietnam.
State President Võ Văn Thưởng meets with Pope Francis
Meeting Pope Francis during the visit, President Thưởng affirmed that the Vietnamese Party and State consistently pursue a policy of respecting and ensuring the freedom of belief and religion, saying the nation has constantly revamp its legal framework to facilitate the practice of religions, including Catholicism.
He greatly valued guidelines and teachings of Pope Francis and the Vatican for the Catholic community in Vietnam, saying he hoped that Pope Francis will pay more attention to guiding Catholic dignitaries and followers in the Southeast Asian nation to further accompany the State and people, for national development and prosperity.
Pope Francis said that the Vatican hopes for stronger relations with Vietnam. The Pope stressed that the approval of the agreement on the Status of the Resident Papal Representative and the Office of the Resident Papal Representative in Vietnam was a model of mutual trust, and a foundation to further promote relations between Vietnam and the Vatican in the time ahead.
At the meeting with Cardinal Pietro Parolin, Secretary of State of the Vatican, the Vietnamese leader underlined the Vatican's role in global issues and wished that the Vatican would continue upholding its role in mediating conflicts, preserving peace, promoting sustainable development, and fostering unity, friendship, cooperation and development among nations and religions worldwide.
Cardinal Pietro Parolin spoke highly of Vietnam's achievements in ensuring religious freedom for all religions, including Catholicism. He thanked Vietnam for recognizing positive contributions made by the Catholic Church in various areas such as charity work, education, health care and vocational training.
State President Võ Văn Thưởng and Chairman Vũ Hoài Bắc meets with Cardinal Secretary of State of the Vatican Pietro Parolin
As reported, since 2009, Vietnam and Vatican have organized ten round meetings of the Vietnam - Holy See Joint Working Group, and five meetings of high-ranking officials of Vietnam and the Holy See on the Vietnam - Vatican relations, including issues related to the Vietnamese Catholic Church.