|National Assembly Chairwoman Nguyen Thi Kim Ngan (fifth, left) on December 20 visits the Hanoi Archdiocese. (Photo: VNA)
The top legislator conveyed greetings and handed over flowers of Party General Secretary and President Nguyen Phu Trong to Joseph Vu Van Thien, Archbishop of the Hanoi Archdiocese and Deputy Secretary General of the Vietnam Episcopal Council, on the occasion of Christmas.
She lauded the contributions of Vietnamese Catholics and those in the Hanoi Archdiocese in particular to the country’s achievements in socio-economic development, national defence-security, international integration and external affairs, including relations with the Vatican.
The Vietnamese State always respects and ensures the freedom of belief and religion of all people through the Constitution and relevant laws, Ngan stressed.
The NA leader urged the Hanoi Archdiocese and other archdioceses to launch practical and meaningful efforts in order to bring a peaceful and happy life to Catholics and people nationwide.
Activities of the Catholic Church in Vietnam and the Hanoi Archdiocese will help strengthen the great national unity bloc in line with guidelines and policies of the Party and the State, Ngan said.
For his part, Thien pledged that the Hanoi Archdiocese will work harder to build a society of peace and development as desired by all Vietnamese Catholics.
Expressing his delight at the fruitful relationship between Vietnam and the Vatican, Thien said he looks forward to the visit to Vietnam by Cardinal Pietro Parolin and hopes that his trip will open up a new period for diplomatic ties between the two sides.
The Hanoi Archdiocese encompasses Hanoi, and Hoa Binh, Ha Nam and Nam Dinh provinces with about 35,000 Catholics.