Leadership Council for Human Rights

~ Feet in the mud, head in the sky ~

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Vietnamese Prime Minister meets with Pope Benedict

As the first leader of the Socialist Republic of Viet Nam to meet with the Pope, Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dang, looked to normalize relations with the Vatican, AsiaNews reported today. Today’s meeting focused on the current steps being taken by Viet Nam to protect the rights of its Catholic citizens and what more can be done in this area. The Vatican made reference to “concrete progress” being made in Viet Nam, but also emphasized that some areas are still lacking. Both the Church and the government believe that expanded relations are of great importance and see the benefits of cultivating the relationship further.

The Vietnamese government hopes that embracing the Church and its followers in the country will encourage more moral behavior, especially among the youth, as the country continues to be plagued by corruption as the economy grows at staggering rates. The two sides hope today’s meeting will be the first step in the normalization process.


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