National Assembly Chairwoman Nguyễn Thị Kim Ngân meets with auxiliary bishop Đỗ Mạnh Hùng as pastor of the Archdiocese of HCM City and cardinal Phạm Minh Mẫn on Wednesday.— VNA/VNS Photo Trọng Đức
HCM CITY — National Assembly Chairwoman Nguyễn Thị Kim Ngân on Wednesday spoke highly of the active role and contributions of the Catholic community to the national building and development cause while visiting the Archdiocese of HCM City on the occasion of the Christmas and New Year holidays.
During the visit, Ngân met with auxiliary bishop Đỗ Mạnh Hùng as pastor of the Archdiocese of HCM City and cardinal Phạm Minh Mẫn.
On behalf of the leaders of the Party and State, the Central Committee of the Việt Nam Fatherland Front, NA Chairwoman Ngân extended her Christmas and New Year greetings to Catholic dignitaries and followers, including the Archdiocese of HCM City.
The top legislator expressed her hope that HCM City’s Catholic dignitaries and followers will continue promoting the patriotic tradition and contribute more to the construction and development of the nation and the locality.
The NA chairwoman briefed on the socio-economic results of the country in 2018, including efforts to overcome difficulties in completing targets set by the NA.
At its recent sixth session, the NA approved the Comprehensive Partnership for Transnational Partnership (CPTPP), she said.
Ngân praised the achievement in socio-economic development and the increase in quality of life of residents in HCM City.
“HCM City plays a major role in the country’s socio-economic development, contributing 23 per cent to national GDP, 30 per cent of State revenue, 16 per cent of industrial output, and 15 per cent of exports.”
“These achievements are the result of joint efforts by ministries and sectors as well as the contributions of all people, including the Catholic community,” she added.
Ngân said the Party and State appreciated the role and active contribution of Catholics in the cause of national construction and development.
“The Law on Religion officially came into force in early 2018, affirming the respect and assurance of freedom of belief and religion of all Vietnamese people,” Ngân noted.
“Việt Nam always creates the best conditions for religions, including Catholics, to operate on an equal basis in accordance with the law.”
In addition, Ngân said Deputy PM Trương Hoà Bình in October met Pope Francis and Secretary of State of the Vatican City Cardinal Pietro Parolin during his business trip to the city-state.
Ngân said Việt Nam was working to perfect its policy on respecting and ensuring freedom of religion and belief for all Vietnamese, and offering favourable conditions for religions to operate in line with their charters and statutes, and in accordance with the law.
This can be clearly seen in the development and diverse activities of religions in Việt Nam, including the Việt Nam Catholic Church.
Pastor Đỗ Mạnh Hùng said there are around 700,000 Catholics in the Archdiocese of HCM City.
In addition, some 300,000 Catholics from other provinces study and live at the Archdiocese of HCM City, which is the largest archdiocese of the total 26 archdioceses throughout the country, he added.
The Archdiocese of HCM City follows four criteria: welcoming, protection, development and integration, he noted.
The archdiocese has many charitable foundations to help disabled children, the elderly and people with HIV/AIDS.
The archdiocese has always received support from the city government in operation, he noted.
Ngân also visited Bishop Xuân Lộc in the southern province of Đồng Nai, extending Christmas and New Year greetings to Catholic dignitaries and followers in the province.
Also on Wednesday, HCM City Party Secretary Nguyễn Thiện Nhân led a delegation of the city People’s Council, the People’s Committee, and the Việt Nam Fatherland Front Committee to visit the Archdiocese of HCM City.
Secretary of the HCM City Party Committee Nguyễn Thiện Nhân extended his Christmas and New Year greetings to Catholic dignitaries and followers. — VNS