Vatican City, 14 June 2013 (VIS) – The Working Group Meeting between the Holy See and Vietnam met for the fourth time from 13 to 14 June, in the Vatican. The meeting was co-chaired by Msgr. Antoine Camilleri, under-secretary for Relations with States, and by Mr. Bui Thanh Son, Vietnam's vice-minister of Foreign Affairs.
As reported in a press release, the two sides informed each other about their respective situation and reviewed and discussed Vietnam – Holy See relations and other issues related to the Catholic Church in Vietnam.
The Vietnamese side stressed the consistent implementation and continuous improvements in policies by the Party and State of Vietnam related to the respect and assurance of freedom of religion and religious beliefs, as well as continued encouragement of different religions, and the Vietnam Catholic Church in particular, in taking active part in the national construction and socio-economic development process. The Holy See side expressed appreciation and gratitude for the attention given by various levels of Government to the activities of the Vietnam Catholic Church, particularly the 10th Plenary Assembly of the Federation of Asian Bishops’ Conferences held in Xuan Loc and Ho Chi Minh City in December 2012, as well as the pastoral visits of the non-resident Papal Representative, Archbishop Leopoldo Girelli. The Holy See stressed the desire to develop further Vietnam – Holy See relations and underlined the need to have as soon as possible a Papal Representative resident in the country, for the benefit of all concerned.
The two sides believe that Vietnam – Holy See relations have progressed in a spirit of goodwill, constructive exchange and respect for principles in the relationship. In this spirit, and in view of the commitment to develop further mutual relations, the work of the non-resident Papal Representative will be facilitated in order to allow him to carry out his mission even more fruitfully. The two sides agreed to meet for the 5th Round of the Joint Working Group between Vietnam and the Holy See in Hanoi. The time of the meeting will be arranged through diplomatic channels.