HÀ NỘI — President Nguyễn Xuân Phúc visited and presented gifts to the Hanoi Archdiocese and the Committee for Solidarity of Vietnamese Catholics (CSVC) in the capital city on Thursday, ahead of Christmas.
Visiting the Hanoi Archdiocese, the President wished local Catholic dignitaries and followers a merry and peaceful Christmas and a new year full of health and happiness.
He lauded the contributions of Vietnamese Catholics and those in the Hanoi Archdiocese to the country’s achievements in socio-economic development, national defence and security, international integration and external affairs, in spite of the impact of the pandemic.
He also expressed his delight that Vietnamese Catholics had organised numerous humanitarian activities, particularly in COVID-19 prevention and control.
The President said the Vietnamese State respected and ensured freedom of belief and religion for all people through the Constitution and law.
He said he hoped that the Archbishop Joseph Vũ Văn Thiên of the Hanoi Archdiocese and the Deputy Secretary General of the Vietnam Episcopal Council would continue to encourage Catholic dignitaries and followers to build a strong archdiocese and contribute to socio-economic development.
Archbishop Joseph Thiên expressed his pleasure at the visit of the President, which he said showed Party and State’s attention to Catholics and the Hanoi Archdiocese.
He thanked the State and authorities for taking drastic COVID-19 prevention and control measures and promoting vaccine diplomacy work.
He said Vietnamese Catholics and the Hanoi Archdiocese had taken part in socio-economic development activities and would continue to contribute to the development of Hà Nội and the country.
He expressed his hope that in the near future, the country’s global stature would improve.
Visiting the CSVC later the same day, the President extended Christmas greetings to the committee and wished that it would continue disseminating the Party guidelines and State laws to Catholics in the country.
He praised the efforts and activities of the CSVC, which helped encourage Catholics to abide by Party policies and guidelines and State laws, as well as to take part in patriotic, socio-economic development and poverty reduction movements, particularly in COVID-19 prevention and control.
Priest Joseph Trần Xuân Mạnh, part-time vice president of the Vietnam Fatherland Front Central Committee and Chairman of the CSVC Central Committee, thanked the authorities for creating the conditions for the CSVC to work effectively. — VNS