Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung reiterated that the Vietnamese Government always respects and ensures citizens’ right to freedom of belief and religion at a reception for the Cardinal in Hanoi on January 20.

He took the occasion to congratulate Hanoi’s newly appointed Archbishop Pierre Nguyen Van Nhon and spoke highly of the Vietnamese Catholic community’s contributions to national development.

The PM went on to say that relations between Vietnam and Vatican remain strong despite ups and downs during their long-lasting bilateral ties via annual talks and regular contact, stressing that more recent high-level exchanges have helped move the bilateral relationship forwards.

The Government leader asked the two sides to continue frank dialogue on the basis of sincerity, mutual understanding and trust to benefit the community of seven million Catholic followers in Vietnam.

The Cardinal congratulated Vietnam on its achievements, saying the talks will facilitate bilateral ties development.

That Archbishop of Hanoi Pierre Nguyen Van Nhon was named by Pope Francis among the new cardinals reflected the Vatican’s respect and appreciation for Vietnam and its people, Cardinal Fernando Filoni said.

He added that recent meetings between Vietnamese leaders and the Pope will spur better cooperation between the two sides.

VietNamNet Bridge - January 21, 2015

Vietnam always ensures right to freedom of religion, PM tells Vatican Prefect

The Vietnamese government consistently respects and ensures citizens’ right to freedom of religion and belief, Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung told the Vatican’s Prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples Cardinal Fernando Filoni in Hanoi on Tuesday.

PM Dung made the statement at a reception held for the visiting cardinal who is in Vietnam for a seven-day working visit starting on Monday, according to the Vietnam Government Portal.

The Vietnamese government chief applauded the cardinal’s visit and expressed his belief that during the call the cardinal will receive much information about Vietnam, its people and religious policies, and the life of Catholics in the country.

He also affirmed that the Vietnamese government always facilitates the operations of all religions in Vietnam and that local Catholic communities have made significant contributions to the country’s socio-economic development.

The Vietnamese leader also highly appreciated the local Catholic communities’ activities, which he said have been carried out for the sake of the country’s common interest and development.

Catholics in Vietnam have based such activities on the conception that “a good religious follower is a good citizen,” he said.

PM Dung added the Vietnam-Vatican relationship is healthy now, despite ups and downs during the long-lasting history of their bilateral ties.

The two sides have maintained annual talks, regular contact and meetings, and dialogues, the PM said, adding that recent high-level contacts have particularly helped take the relationship to a new level.

Both sides should continue frank and sincere dialogues on the basis of mutual understanding, trust, and respect for differences, the PM suggested.

He also stressed that progress in the development of bilateral relations will benefit the community of seven million Catholic followers in Vietnam.

PM Dung took the occasion to congratulate Hanoi’s Archbishop Pierre Nguyen Van Nhon on being named a cardinal by the Pope.

Cardinal Fernando Filoni expressed his honor to visit Vietnam as well as his good impression of the country, its people, and the Catholic community. He also congratulated the country and people of Vietnam on their achievements.

Highly appreciating the progress in the negotiations between the two sides, the cardinal agreed with PM Dung’s comments that relations between the Vatican and Vietnam are progressing well, and said that in a world of peaceful co-existence, dialogue will make every relationship better.

The fact that the Pope has conferred the title of cardinal on Archbishop Pierre Nguyen Van Nhon shows the respect and appreciation of the Holy See for the country and people of Vietnam, Cardinal Filoni said.

He also extended his best wishes and prayers for peace and prosperity to the country and people of Vietnam.

Tuoi Tre News - January 21, 2015