The Holy See has expressed its desire to further the relations with Vietnam and urged Vietnamese parishioners to respect and abide by the country’s policies and laws.

The remarks came from working sessions between Under-Secretary of the Congregation for the Evangelisation of Peoples Tadeusz Wojda and Under-Secretary for Relations with States Antoine Camilleri of the Vatican and officials of the Vietnamese Government’s Committee for Religious Affairs.

The Vietnamese officials, headed by Deputy Minister of Home Affairs and Head of the Committee for Religious Affairs Pham Dung, are currently on a six-day working visit to the Vatican from September 15.

At the functions, the two sides went through the progress in Vietnam-Vatican relations and exchanged views on issues of mutual concern.

The Vietnamese side reiterated that Vietnam has consistently pursued a religious policy that ensures people’s freedom to religions and beliefs, and disapproved the corrupt use of the issue to cause social instability and harm the common interest of the Catholic community and the nation.

The Vietnamese Government will always support and create all possible conditions for religious organisations in the country, they told the Vatican officials.

The Government hopes that all Vietnamese parishioners will take specific actions for the sake of both nation and their faith and follow Pope Benedict XVI’s words which say that a good Catholic is a good citizen, they added.

The Vatican side, for their part, valued progress made in its relations with Vietnam as well as the Vietnamese Government’s attention and support to activities of the Vietnam Catholic Church in the past time, including pastoral visits of the Vatican’s non-resident Special Envoy to Vietnam, Archbishop Leopoldo Girelli.

They said both sides need to firmly maintain their dialogue via the Vatican’s non-resident special envoy to Vietnam while pledging that the Holy See will exert every effort to work with the Vietnamese Government in solving existing problems in order to boost their ties.

During the working visit to September 20, the Vietnamese delegation also attended a general meeting with Pope Francis and visited the Vatican Radio.-VNA