Top legislator extends Xmas greetings to Catholics in HCM City hinh anh 1National Assembly Chairwoman Nguyen Thi Kim Ngan (left, in pink) visits Ho Chi Minh City Archdiocese. (Photo: VNA)

HCM City (VNA) – National Assembly Chairwoman Nguyen Thi Kim Ngan on December 19 visited and extended Christmas greetings to Auxiliary Bishop of Ho Chi Minh City Archdiocese Do Manh Hung and local Catholic dignitaries and followers.

She stressed that the Party and State applaud the role and contributions of Catholics to national construction and development.

The Law on Belief and Religion, which has officially come into force since early 2018, has affirmed that the freedom of belief and religion of all Vietnamese people is respected and ensured, facilitating the practice of religions in line with charters and regulations of religious organisations, as well as law, the top legislator said.

She highlighted the visit to the Vatican by Deputy Prime Minister Truong Hoa Binh last October, during which he met with Pope Francis and Secretary of State of the Vatican City Cardinal Pietro Parolin.

The two sides reached consensus on orientations to enhance the relations between Vietnam and the Vatican, towards elevating the relationship from the level of non-residential envoy to residential envoy in the time to come, she said.

The leader expressed her hope that Catholic dignitaries and followers will carry forward the tradition of patriotism, accompany the nation and make practical contributions to strengthening the great national unity bloc, as well as national construction.

For his part, Auxiliary Bishop Hung said the Law on Belief and Religion has created conditions for religious people, including Catholics, to practise their religions and contribute more to national socio-economic development.

He said with about 1 million Catholics, Ho Chi Minh City Archdiocese is the largest among 26 archdioceses and dioceses nationwide.
It has established many facilities in support of disabled children, the elderly and HIV/AIDS patients, he said, adding that the archdiocese has received support from local authorities during its operation.

On the occasion of the upcoming Christmas and New Year, NA Chairwoman Ngan also visited Cardinal Pham Minh Man at the HCM City pastoral centre.-VNA