HA NOI (VNS)— Senior delegates at the 10th Plenary Assembly of the Federation of Asian Bishops' Conferences (FABC) have spoken positively about spiritual life in Viet Nam.
The Vietnamese Government Committee for Religious Affairs met for talks in Ha Noi yesterday with FABC representatives including Cardinal Gaudencio Rosales, Special Envoy of Pope Benedict XVI, and Cardinal Oswald Cracias, FABC Secretary General.
The two cardinals said that after arriving in the country, the delegation had been touched by the friendship and openness of the Vietnamese people.
Pope Benedict XVI knows of the positive developments in the Vietnamese Catholic community, and highly appreciates the growing ties between Viet Nam and the Vatican and the support that the Vietnamese Government has offered the Vatican's non-permanent representatives to the country, they added.
Addressing the meeting, the head of the Government Committee for Religious Affairs, Pham Dung, who is also Deputy Minister of Home Affairs, said his committee is assigned the task of guiding and helping religions in Viet Nam operate in line with the country's law. "The committee is also a bridge linking the State with parishioners," he added.
Dung declared that Catholicism, the second largest religion in Viet Nam, had made many contributions to the national construction and development.
He hoped the FABC delegation would learn more about the daily life and religious activities of Vietnamese parishioners and offer suggestions to improve his committee's management of religious affairs.
Dung also asked the delegation to convey his thanks to the Pope and related ministries of the Vatican, and called for them to focus more on the Catholic community in Viet Nam.
The 10th FABC Plenary Assembly is taking place in the southern province of Dong Nai and HCM City from December 10-16. The meeting, held in Viet Nam for the first time, attracted the participation of 122 cardinals, archbishops, bishops and church representatives from Asia, Europe, Australia and the Vatican. — VNS