On March 22, 2014, on the occasion of official working visit to the Republic of Italy, the high- ranking parliamentary delegation led by National Assembly Chairman Nguyễn Sinh Hùng met Pope Francis in Vatican
At the meeting, National Assembly Chairman Nguyễn Sinh Hùng expressed his delight and hoped that Pope Francis with his prestige, virtue and wisdom will continue making contributions to world’s stability and development and the spiritual life in the globe.
Chairman Nguyễn Sinh Hùng made it clear that the Vietnamese Party and State are steadfast in their diplomatic policy of independence, self-reliance, peace, development, cooperation, and diversification and multi-lateralization of external relations. He said Vietnam considers belief and religion as a spiritual need of the people; believers are part of national unity block. Vietnam attaches its importance to the relation with the Vatican Holy See. Currently, the relationship between Vietnam and Vatican has a positive development based on the spirit of goodwill, constructive dialogue, and respect of principles of the two sides.
Mr. Hùng expressed his hope that Pope will continue to guide the Vietnam Catholic Church to operate under the motto “Living the Gospel within the Nation” and “a good Catholic is a good citizen”, and contribute more to the country’s development.
Pope Francis has a good feeling towards Vietnam and Vietnam Catholic Church. He said:
“Vietnam is always in my heart. When I was young, in Buenos Aires, I always watched the protracted and heroic war of Vietnam against the invading forces for national independence and freedom. I admired greatness of Vietnamese nation and since then Vietnam has been in my heart.
The Catholic Church is not involved in politics and wished to accompany the Vietnamese government and people for developing the country, building a prosperous and happy life. Catholic Church in Vietnam always accompanies with Vietnamese country along the path to development and contributes to the country’s national affairs.
Recently, before becoming a Pope, I watched the growing relationship between Vietnam and Vatican and hoped that two sides will keep on this fine path of relation.
Vietnamese Catholics have to be good citizens. They have to be patriotic. They have to closely accompany with the nation in building a prosperous, happy country.
It can be said that the Pope Francis’ speech to National Assembly Chairman Nguyễn Sinh Hùng about Vietnam and Vietnamese Catholics again affirmed the Pope Benedict XVI’s words to Catholics in Vietnam in 2009. It is again an encouragement for Vietnamese Catholics to implement the motto “Living the Gospel within the Nation” and pave the way for further development of relation between Vietnam and Vatican.