DAILY CATHOLIC     MONDAY     March 22, 1999     vol. 10, no. 56

NEWS & VIEWS
from a CATHOLIC perspective

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VATICAN ENVOY OPTIMISTIC ON VIETNAM RELATIONS

          HANOI (CWNews.com) - The Vatican's deputy foreign minister ended a five-day visit to Communist Vietnam on Friday, saying he was optimistic for improving relations with the Southeast Asian country.

          Monsignor Celestino Migliore told reporters the trip was a constructive first step toward an official relationship between the Holy See and Vietnam. The Vatican and Vietnam have had a strained relationship since Communists came to power, as the Communist Party sees the Church as interfering in internal affairs. Under current arrangements, the government must approve all papal appointments of bishops.

          The monsignor said he was especially pleased with being able to visit the southern dioceses of Phan Thiet and Ho Chi Minh City (the former Saigon). "We were very happy to share with this very vibrant community (in the south) and this morning we had also the occasion to meet with the community in Hanoi (in a Mass), and so this allows us to leave with some optimism," he said.

          The Vatican news service Fides on Thursday quoted Bishop Bartolomeo Nguyen Song Lam of Khanh Hoa as saying the Vietnamese government was more favorable this time toward a potential papal visit. "To our surprise, this time the Vietnamese side is showing a more favourable attitude," he said. Monsignor Migliore would not say whether Pope John Paul II hopes to visit this year during a larger planned trip to Asia.


Articles provided through Catholic World News and Church News at Noticias Eclesiales. Both CWN and NE are not affiliated with the Daily CATHOLIC but provides this service via e-mail to the Daily CATHOLIC Monday through Friday.

March 22, 1999       volume 10, no. 56
NEWS & VIEWS

DAILY CATHOLIC

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