Source Pravda.Ru

Vatican delegation arrived in Vietnam

A Vatican delegation arrived in Vietnam on Monday for a series of meetings with government leaders, as the communist country and the Holy See considered establishing diplomatic relations.

Monsignor Pietro Parolin, an undersecretary of state, is leading the delegation from Rome.

The two sides have been holding periodic talks for years, and this week's meetings are part of those ongoing discussions. But they have received heightened attention because the parties recently announced they were trying to work out a framework for establishing diplomatic relations, the AP says.

On Monday, the Vatican delegation was to meet with leaders of Vietnam's Catholic Church to discuss internal church affairs. Later in the week, the visitors were scheduled to meet with government officials and visit churches in three central Vietnamese provinces.

Tensions have existed between the Vietnamese government and the Catholic Church for decades. Communist authorities closely monitor religious groups and insist on approving most church appointments.

But relations have begun to thaw recently.

Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung became the highest-level Vietnamese official to meet the pope when he visited the Vatican on Jan. 25. After the talks, the Vatican said there had been "concrete progress" for religious freedom for the Catholic Church in Vietnam. And last month, Vietnamese officials announced they were working on a "roadmap" toward normalizing relations with the Vatican.

Vietnam has one of the largest Catholic populations in Asia, with 6 million Catholics.

The Vatican has indicated that official ties between the Holy See and Hanoi could lead to Catholic assistance in medical care and other social services for the Vietnamese people.

Comments
Russia starts Star Wars first. USA concerned and puzzled
Turkey and USA take their relationship to breaking point
US sanctions to kill Russian banks and sovereign debt?
US sanctions to kill Russian banks and sovereign debt?
Details of Putin-Merkel surprise meeting unveiled
Turkey and USA take their relationship to breaking point
Iran shows new ICBM that can evade radars
US refuses to explain reasons behind new 'draconian' sanctions
Russia starts Star Wars first. USA concerned and puzzled
US sanctions to kill Russian banks and sovereign debt?
Pilot shares his impressions after flying Su-57 fifth-generation fighter
Russia to respond with military-strategic blow to new USA's sanctions
Russian government prepares to get rid of US dollar in economy
Russia to respond with military-strategic blow to new USA's sanctions
US sanctions to kill Russian banks and sovereign debt?
Russia builds new robotic tank invulnerable to mines
Caspian Convention challenges Gazprom's rule in Europe
US sanctions to kill Russian banks and sovereign debt?
Turkey desperately tries to rescue its national currency as it falls to all-time lows
Boy loses hand when jumping into the river
North Korea: Standing proud for Korea!