National congress of Vietnamese Catholics opens in Hanoi hinh anh 1At the congress (Photo: VNA)

Hanoi (VNA) – The seventh national congress of Vietnamese Catholics building and protecting the homeland for the 2018-2023 tenure opened in Hanoi on October 13.

Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc and Acting President Dang Thi Ngoc Thinh sent baskets of flowers to the congress.

Addressing the event, President of the Vietnam Fatherland Front (VFF) Central Committee Tran Thanh Man praised the enthusiastic response of Catholics to patriotic movements, and outstanding individuals and residential areas in economic development, poverty reduction and fight against social bad deeds.

The VFF leader expressed his hope that the Committee for Solidarity of Vietnamese Catholics (CSVC) will renew its operation and successfully implement the action programme set for 2018-2023.

He called on the VFF’s chapters and member organisations, and Catholic associations and dioceses to pay more attention to patriotic movements among Catholics.

In his remarks, Deputy Prime Minister Truong Hoa Binh affirmed the Party and State’s consistent policy of respecting and ensuring the freedom of belief and religion of all people, creating conditions for religious organisations to operate in accordance with the Constitution and law; and encouraging religious dignitaries and followers to actively contribute to national construction and defence.

He also urged the CSVC to successfully perform its role of gathering Catholics at home and abroad, while working to ensure legitimate rights and interests of Catholic followers and organisations.

On this occasion, outstanding Catholic individuals and organisations were honoured for their contributions to patriotic movements and national construction and defence.  

The congress elected the 147-member committee for the 2018-2023 led by Priest Tran Xuan Manh.

According to the CSVC, over the years, thanks to patriotic movements, many business models of Catholics have shown high economic efficiency. 

The models have mainly focused on shifting the structure of farms and large-scale handicraft production, along with the establishment of businesses, the committee said. 

Charitable and humanitarian activities have also been scaled up, with classes for street children and people with disabilities, care for leprosy and AIDS patients, fundraising for poor people and support for disaster-hit citizens. 

The CSVC has set up a network covering 42 cities and provinces nationwide.-VNA