Viet president meets bishops, strengthens ties

Vietnam’s President Vo Van Thuong met with the country’s Catholic bishops to thank the church for its role during the Covid-19 pandemic, share on his recent visit to the Vatican and strengthen ties, including the possibility of opening Catholic schools, media reports say.

The meeting was held at the headquarters of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Vietnam (CBCV) in the national capital Ho Chi Minh City, on Aug 7, Vatican News reported.

A delegation of ten government officials accompanied Văn Thưởng, while the church team was composed of nine bishops led by CBCV president Archbishop Joseph Nguyễn Năng of Ho Chi Minh City, along with five priests and two nuns.

The visit came after the Vietnamese president met with Pope Francis in the Vatican and signed a landmark agreement on July 27 that would allow a papal representative to reside in the country and open an office there for the first time since Vietnam War ended in 1975.

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