President meets Secretary of State of Vatican
VGP - President Vo Van Thuong, his spouse and entourage met with Cardinal Pietro Parolin, Secretary of State of Vatican, in the Vatican on July 27 afternoon (local time) to discuss Viet Nam-Vatican ties and the Catholic situation in Viet Nam.
Briefing the host about Viet Nam's external and religious policies, President Vo stressed that the Vietnamese Party and State always create favourable conditions for religions to operate and develop in accordance with the Constitution and laws, including the Law on Belief and Religion.
Viet Nam will continue fine-tuning legal framework for religious activities of the public and religious organisations, he said.
He wished that Parolin, in his important role in the Holy See, and with his understanding of and deep affection for Viet Nam, would continue paying attention to the activities of the Catholic community in the country, thus contributing to further stepping up the positive development of the Viet Nam-Vatican relationship.
Parolin, for his part, spoke highly of Viet Nam's achievements in ensuring religious freedom for all religions, including Catholicism.
He thanked Vietnam for recognising positive contributions made by the Catholic Church in various areas such as charity work, education, health care and vocational training. He also hailed the role of the Viet Nam-Vatican Joint Working Group in raising mutual understanding and trust, and agreed to resolve any differences through dialogue.
Hailing Viet Nam's increasingly important role in the Catholic Church with over 7.2 million Catholics, he affirmed that the Holy See always encourages Catholic dignitaries and followers in Viet Nam to follow the mottos of "Accompanying the nation" and "A good Catholic is a good citizen", making positive contributions to the development of the country and the Church in particular.
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.
Affirming its support for all initiatives aimed at building peace worldwide, the Vatican vows to back the settlement of disputes in the East Sea through peaceful means in accordance with international law and the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), he said.
Both host and guest also discussed the conclusion of the Agreement on the Status of the Resident Papal Representative and the Office of the Resident Papal Representative in Viet Nam.
The Vietnamese President said Viet Nam will continue supporting the Vatican in completing the necessary procedures to establish the Office of the Resident Papal Representative in Ha Noi and assist the activities of the Resident Papal Representative in Viet Nam.
Concluding the visit, both sides issued a joint communique on the conclusion of the Agreement on the Status of the Resident Papal Representative and the Office of the Resident Papal Representative of the Vatican in Viet Nam./. VNA