President visits the Vatican, meets Pope Francis
VGP - President Vo Van Thuong, his spouse and entourage visited the Vatican and made a courtesy call on Pope Francis on July 27 (local time).
At the meeting, Vo expressed his delight to visit the Vatican and thanked Pope Francis for his sentiments to the country's independence and development, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic.
He spoke highly of the positive development in Viet Nam-Vatican relations via high-ranking delegation exchanges and the effective operation of the Joint Working Group.
The Vietnamese Party and State consistently pursue a policy of respecting and ensuring the freedom of belief and religion, reiterated Vo, adding that the country has continuously perfected its legal framework to facilitate the practice of religions, including Catholicism.
He welcomed active contributions of the Vietnamese Catholic community in charitable activities, education, health care and vocational training, expecting that the community would make more contributions to the national development process.
The State leader expressed his hope that Pope Francis would guide the Vietnamese Catholic dignitaries and followers to further accompany the State and people, for the national development and prosperity.
He underlined the role of the Vatican in handling global issues, maintaining peace and sustainable development and protecting environment and human rights.
Pope Francis, for his part, highly appraised the Vietnamese leader's visit to the Vatican, asserting that the visit creates an opportunity for both sides to discuss the Catholicism situation in Viet Nam and relations between the country and the Vatican.
He said that the Vatican expects to develop Vatican-Viet Nam relations, noting that the Viet Nam Catholic Church needs to continue fulfilling the vocation of "accompanying the nation" and to be "good Catholics and good citizens", while encouraging Catholic dignitaries and followers to make more contributions to the development of the country and the church.
The Agreement on the Status of the Resident Papal Representative and the Office of the Resident Papal Representative in Viet Nam is an important step in in the context of positive development in the bilateral relations, and the result of discussions in the spirit of mutual respect and understanding, and cooperation, they stated.
The representative will make more active contributions to the relations between the Vatican and the Catholic community in Viet Nam, and well as the relationship between the Vatican and the country, they added./.