Vatican City, 26 Jun 2010 (VIS) - The Secretariat of State today published the following English-language communique:
"As agreed at its first meeting in Hanoi in February 2009, the second meeting of the Vietnam - Holy See Joint Working Group took place in the Vatican from 23 to 24 June, co-chaired by Msgr. Ettore Balestrero, Holy See under secretary for Relations with States who headed the Holy See delegation, and Nguyen Quoc Cuong, vice minister of Foreign Affairs who headed the Vietnamese Delegation.
"After reviewing the progress made since the first Joint Working Group meeting, the two sides discussed international issues and those related to bilateral relations and to the Catholic Church in Vietnam. The Vietnamese side recalled its consistent policy of respect for freedom of religion and belief as well as the legal provisions to guarantee its implementation. The Holy See delegation took note of this explanation and asked that further conditions be established so that the Church may participate effectively in the development of the country, especially in the spiritual, educational, healthcare, social and charitable fields. The Holy See delegation also mentioned that the Church in her teaching invites the faithful to be good citizens and therefore to work for the common good of the population.
"The two sides noted encouraging developments in various areas of Catholic life in Vietnam, especially in relation to the Jubilee Year. Furthermore they recalled the address of His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI during the last 'ad limina' visit of the Vietnamese bishops and the Holy Father's Message to the Catholic Church in Vietnam on the occasion of the Jubilee Year, and agreed that these teachings of the Holy Father would serve as an orientation for the Catholic Church in Vietnam in the years ahead.
"On bilateral relations the two sides appreciated the positive developments since the first meeting of the Joint Working Group, especially the meeting between Pope Benedict XVI and the Vietnamese State President Nguyen Minh Triet in December 2009. The two sides also had in-depth and comprehensive discussions on bilateral diplomatic relations. In order to deepen the relations between the Holy See and Vietnam, as well as the bonds between the Holy See and the local Catholic Church, it was agreed that, as a first step, a non-resident representative of the Holy See for Vietnam will be appointed by the Pope.
"The two sides decided to hold the third meeting of the Joint Working Group in Vietnam; the time of the meeting will be settled through diplomatic channels.
"On the occasion of the meeting, the Vietnamese delegation paid courtesy visits to Archbishop Dominique Mamberti, Holy See secretary for Relations with States, to the Prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelisation of Peoples and to the Vicariate of the diocese of Rome. The Delegation also visited the Holy See's 'Bambino Gesu' paediatric hospital in Rome".
SS/ VIS 20100628 (490)
Source: Vatican Information Service - English