Loading
Pope's envoy to Vietnam looks forward to improved relations with government
Archbishop Leopoldo Girelli
Archbishop Leopoldo Girelli

.- Pope Benedict XVI's new representative to Vietnam is looking forward to strengthening ties between the Vatican and the local Catholic Church. A Vatican official said that his appointment “bodes well” for the future of the Church's sometimes difficult relationship with the Vietnamese government.

On Jan. 13, Pope Benedict appointed Archbishop Leopoldo Girelli as his non-resident representative to Vietnam.

On the same day, Archbishop Girelli established contact with the Vietnamese Church and pledged his “availability both in service and collaboration for the well-being of the Church.”

“I ardently hope to strengthen the bonds of fraternal understanding and mutual assistance between this Pontifical Representation and your archdiocese,” Archbishop Girelli said in his letter to Cardinal Jean Baptiste Pham Minh Man of Ho Chi Minh City.

The archbishop said he hopes to be “an instrument of fellowship between local priests, Religious and lay people and among the people in Vietnam.”

The Vatican hopes that his presence will improve the Church's status in Vietnam, where the Church faces strict government limits on its participation in public life.

The communist government’s restrictions on the Church earned Vietnam a special mention in a Jan. 25 Human Rights Watch report for its “intensifying repression” of religious minorities.

“Vietnam's crackdown on religion is systematic, severe, and getting worse by the day,” said Phil Robertson, deputy Asia director at Human Rights Watch.

Catholics, Protestants, Mennonites and Buddhists were all listed as targets of the communist regime.

The Pope announced the creation of the non-resident representative position to Vietnam during his Jan. 10 “state of the world” address to Vatican diplomats. He said his new envoy would specifically be “at the service of religious freedom.”

In the Vatican, the archbishop's nomination is seen as a further step towards establishing diplomatic relations with the Vietnamese government.

Vietnam is one of the few nations in the world with a large Catholic population where the Vatican does not enjoy a concrete working relationship.

A Vatican official who works closely with the Vietnamese Church and requested anonymity because of the diplomatic sensitivity of the situation told CNA that in recent years relations with the government have “changed quite a bit for the better.”

Archbishop Girelli's appointment “will definitely help the Church in Vietnam,” he said. The presence of the new envoy, he added, “should go a long way in further improving the situation.”

The official concluded that Archbishop Girelli's intermediary function between the Holy See and the Vietnamese government “can only bode well for the future and definitely is good for the Catholics of Vietnam.”

In the last month, Archbishop Girelli has transitioned into his position as the Pope’s top diplomat in Singapore and the apostolic delegate in Malaysia and Brunei. He had been the lead diplomatic representative to Indonesia since 2006.


Ads by AdsLiveMedia(What's this?)

* The number of messages that can be online is limited. CNA reserves the right to edit messages for content and tone. Comments and opinions expressed by users do not necessarily reflect the opinions or beliefs of CNA. CNA will not publish comments with abusive language, insults or links to other pages

RESOURCES »

Ads by Google (What's this?)

Featured Videos

Pope Francis celebrates the closing Mass and announces site of next World Youth Day
Pope Francis celebrates the closing Mass and announces site of next World Youth Day
Pope Francis visits poor neighborhood and meets with young people from Argentina
Pope Francis celebrates Mass at the National Shrine of Our Lady of Aparecida
Denver rally draws hundreds in support of religious freedom
Pope Francis prays over a sick man in St Peter's Square
Denver women's clinic will offer natural, Catholic care
Interview Clips: Barbara Nicolosi speaks to CNA
US Cardinals press conference at North American College
Pope Benedict to retire to monastery inside Vatican City
Pope cites waning strength as reason for resignation
Hundreds convene in Denver to urge respect for life
New Orange bishop encourages Catholic unity in diversity
Chinese pro-life activist calls for reform, international attention
At Lincoln installation, Bishop Conley says holiness is success
Mother Cabrini shrine reopens in Chicago after a decade
Ordination of 33 deacons fills St. Peter's with joy
Cardinal says "Charity is the mother of all the virtues"
Augustine Institute expands evangelization effort with new campus
Bishops recall 'Way of St. James' as chance to trust in God
Los Angeles cathedral's newest chapel houses Guadalupe relic
Apr
24

Liturgical Calendar

April 24, 2014

Thursday within the Octave of Easter

All readings:
Today »
This year »

Catholic Daily

Gospel of the Day

Lk 24:35-48

Gospel
Date
04/24/14
04/23/14
04/22/14

Daily Readings


First Reading:: Acts 3:11-26
Gospel:: Lk 24:35-48

Saint of the Day

Easter Sunday »

Saint
Date
04/24/14
04/22/14

Homily of the Day

Lk 24:35-48

Homily
Date
04/24/14
04/23/14
04/22/14

Ads by AdsLiveMedia.com

Ads by AdsLiveMedia.com
     HTML
Text only
Headlines
  

Follow us: