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Thursday, January 25, 2007


VATICAN CITY, JAN 25, 2007 (VIS) - The Holy See Press office released the following communique at midday today:

  "This morning, Thursday January 25, 2007, Nguyen Tan Dang, prime minister of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam, was received in audience by the Holy Father Benedict XVI. He subsequently went on to meet Cardinal Secretary of State Tarcisio Bertone S.D.B., and Archbishop Dominique Mamberti, secretary for Relations with States.

  "The Holy See expressed its satisfaction for the visit, which marks a new and important step towards the normalization of bilateral relations. Those relations have, over the last few years, made concrete progress opening new spaces of religious freedom for the Catholic Church in Vietnam.

  "In the course of the discussions, attention turned to the problems that remain which, it is hoped, will be faced and resolved through existing channels of dialogue and will lead to a fruitful cooperation between Church and State, so that Catholics can, ever more effectively, make a positive contribution to the common good of the country, to promoting moral values, in particular among the young, to spreading a culture of solidarity and to charitable assistance in favor of the weaker sectors of the population.

  "Furthermore, opinions were exchanged on the current international situation, with a view to a joint commitment in favor of peace and of negotiated solutions to the serious problems of the present time.

  "This was the first time that a prime minister of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam has met the Holy Father and the highest authorities of the Secretariat of State."
OP/PRIME MINISTER/VIETNAM                        VIS 20070125 (270)

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