Deputy Prime Minister Truong Hoa Binh and Pope Francis (Photo: VNA)


Rome (VNA)
– Deputy Prime Minister Truong Hoa Binh on October 20 had meetings with Pope Francis and Secretary of State of the Vatican City Cardinal Pietro Parolin on October 20 during his working trip to the city state.

The Deputy PM conveyed thanks from Acting President Dang Thi Ngoc Thinh and the family of late President Tran Dai Quang to the Pope for extending condolences over the death of the President and sending a representative to Vietnam to pay last respects to the deceased.

He informed the Pope on Vietnam’s outstanding achievements in socio-economic development and international integration, emphasizing that they are the results of the joint efforts of all Vietnamese, including the religious community.
 
Deputy PM Binh affirmed that Vietnam constantly works to perfect its policy on respecting and ensuring the 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 all-round development and diverse activities of religions in Vietnam, including the Vietnam Catholic Church.

Pope Francis welcomed the visit by Deputy PM Binh, describing it as an important new step of development helping enhance mutual understanding and thus further promoting the ties between Vietnam and the Vatican in the time ahead.
 
He recalled the good memory about his meetings with Vietnam’s leaders in the past years and expressed joy at the positive developments in Vatican-Vietnam ties.
 
The Pope thanked the Government and authorities at all levels of Vietnam for facilitating activities of the Vietnam Catholic Church and the Vatican’s non-resident envoy to Vietnam.  

He stressed that the Vietnam Catholic Church should better implement the motto of “Living the Gospel amid the nation” set by the Vietnam Episcopal Council and the Pope’s teaching that “a good Catholic is a good citizen.”

The Pope encouraged Vietnamese Catholic followers and dignitaries to participate in common activities and make active contributions to the development of the nation and the church.

The Vietnamese Deputy PM affirmed that Vietnam appreciates and respects the instructions and teachings of the Pope and the Holy See towards the Vietnamese Catholic community. He expressed the hope that the Holy See will guide the Vietnam Catholic Church and Vietnamese Catholic community in following the Pope’s teachings, adding that Vietnam stands ready to work with the Vatican to enhance bilateral ties.

During his meeting with the Vatican Secretary of State, Deputy PM Binh stressed that Vietnam always creates the best conditions for religions, including Catholic, to operate on an equal basis and in accordance with the law.

Vietnam attaches importance to and wants to promote ties with the Vatican on the basis of respect for principles on relations among nations, meeting the aspirations and interests of both sides, Binh said.  

Pietro Parolin said the Vatican always encourages the Vietnam Catholic Church to contribute actively to national construction and defence.  
 
The two sides exchanged views on important issues in bilateral ties and affirmed the need to maintain high-level meetings and regular dialogues at all levels.
 
They discussed and reached agreement on the directions for strengthening Vietnam-Vatican ties towards elevating the relationship from the level of non-resident envoy to resident envoy in the time ahead. They assigned the joint working group to make preparations for the 7th meeting to discuss the issue in details.

Deputy PM Binh conveyed an invitation from Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc to Secretary of State Parolin to visit Vietnam, which the latter accepted with pleasure.-VNA