Leadership Council for Human Rights

~ Feet in the mud, head in the sky ~

Thursday, March 08, 2007

Vatican delegation and Viet Nam officials begin talks

A delegation from the Vatican began high-level discussions with Vietnamese officials yesterday, The Asssociated Press reported the same day. The meeting comes a month after Pope Benedict XVI and Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung met. According to Pietro Parolin, the undersecretary of state for the Vatican, “Our desire is to establish diplomatic relations.”

There has long been animosity between the two sides because Viet Nam has consistently insisted on having final say on almost all of those appointed by the Catholic Church. On the issue of appointments, Nguyen The Doanh, vice director of the Government Committee for Religious Affairs, has said that the goal should be to reach a consensus on the candidates.

Parolin has said that he will inquire about the status of Father Nguyen Van Ly, a dissident priest who was recently removed from his church and sent to a smaller parish.

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