A Vietnamese delegation led by Deputy Minister of Internal Affairs and Head of the Government Committee for Religious Affairs, Pham Dung is paying a working visit to Italy from November 4-9.

The ten-member delegation held working sessions with the Secretary of the Congregation for the Evangelisation of Peoples of the Vatican, Archbishop Savio Hon Tai Fai; the Vicegerent of the Diocese of Rome, Archbishop Filippo Iannone; and the Deputy Minister for the Interior of Italy, Saverio Ruperto.

The delegation also paid courtesy visits to the Vatican’s Secretary for Relations with States, Archbishop Dominique Mamberti, and Under-secretary for Relations with States Ettore Balestrero.

In addition, the delegation visited Bambino Gesù Children’s Hospital of Vatican which has cooperative ties with Hanoi Children’s Hospital of Vietnam .

At the meeting with Italian Deputy Minister of the Interior Saverio Ruperto, the two sides exchanged views on policies and regulations relating to beliefs, religions, religious situation as well as the religious life in their respective countries, particularly some issues relating to Catholicism in Italy and solutions to the emerged problems.

Deputy Minister Dung said that Vietnam is home to a large community of Catholics, the majority of whom are law-abiding citizens and make increasing contributions to the national construction and development.

At the same time, the Vietnamese Government fully respects and ensures the right to religious freedom, and always provides support and favourable conditions to religious organisations in the country, Dung stressed, adding that all religions are given equal treatment in Vietnam.

During the visit, the Vietnamese delegation is scheduled to attend a meeting with Pope Benedict XVI on November 7.-VNA