.- After meeting with government officials over previous days, the Vatican delegation visiting Vietnam left Hanoi for the Central Highland province of Da Lat on Wednesday morning. The delegation did not issue an official statement about disputed issues between Vietnamese Catholics and the countryâs government.
A source familiar with the meetings told CNA that the delegation met with a number of government officials including Pham Gia Khiem, who is both foreign minister and deputy prime minister. The delegation discussed issues concerning the appointment of bishops, religious freedom, and disputes over former Church properties confiscated by the Vietnamese government. The disputed former papal Nunciature in Hanoi was one particular topic of discussion.
Monsignor Pietro Parolin, the Vatican Secretariat of Stateâs undersecretary for relations with states, reportedly asked Nguyen The Thao, the chairman of the People's Committee of Hanoi City, about the government plan to return the Nunciature. The chairman reportedly skirted the issue, instead praising the âcontribution offered by the Catholic community in the common cause for a society of peace, equality, progress and development.â He did not mention any concrete plan to resolve the dispute.